$B. E71 70b
PROF. CHARLES A. KOFOID AND
MRS. PRUDENCE W. KOFOID
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2007 with funding from
THE ANGLER'S GUIDE
RIVERS & LOCHS OF SCOTLAND.
RIYEES & LOCHS OF SCOTLAND.
• The Angler's Guide to the Rivers and Lakes of England and Wales
" Hints on Angling ;" " The History of the Philosoi^hy of Mind ;" Sec, Sec.
THOMAS MURRAY & SON.
JOHN MENZIES, EDINBURGH. — DAVID BOGUE, LONDON.
Angling is, unquestionably, one of the most ancient arts or
amusements of which we have any record. It is mentioned in
the books of the Old Testament. It is engraved on Egyptian
remains of three thousand years old ; and, in the monuments
from Nineveh, recently deposited in the British Museum, we
have a representation, almost as large as life, of a man angling,
with a rod and line, and with a fishing-creel on his shoulders,
precisely similar in shape to those we use in Great Britain at
the present day. The art is mentioned by Herodotus, one of
the earliest Greek historians ; and Theocritus, a Grecian ang-
ler, who flourished B.C. 270, treats of his favourite sport in a
poem of considerable length. The Eomans fished with net
and hook, as we do at present ; and a caricature of angling
has been found among the remains of the City of Hercula-
From the Christian era to the discovery of printing, there
vrere many works written on the piscatory art ; most of them
have, however, heen lost, or are now mouldering in manuscript
in the chief public libraries of France, Italy, Spain, Holland,
and other northern countries of Europe. Since the establish-
ment of printing to the present day, there have not been fewer
than from five to six hundred works written on the art, in the
several kingdoms of the European Continent ; more than one-
half of the number belonging to the English literature on the
But our own nation has taken a decided lead, from the ear-
liest times, in disseminating a knowledge of rod-fishing in
every quarter of the globe. There is scarcely a section of its
surface, on which a Briton has set his foot, where the art is
not known. There are angling clubs or societies in every
country of Europe. The art is practised in all our extensive
Indian territories; throughout the colony of the Cape of
Good Hope; in various portions of Australia; and in the
Canadas. In all the United States of America, — particularly
in those of New England, — rod-fishing is generally followed
as an amusement, and has been eloquently written about, as is
manifest from the treatises and occasional papers on the sub-
ject, which have issued from the pens of Washington Irving,
Dr. Smith, Dr. Beecher, and the late Hon. Daniel AYebster.
AYe see from the American newspapers that angling societies
are formed in districts that lie a thousand miles west of the
city of New York. In fact, the Anglo-Saxon race are destined
to make angling a common and rational recreation all over the
world. In their diversified misrrations, a fishino^-rod is now
almost as necessary an appendage to their outfit as the rifle or
As a proof of the vast increase in the number of anglers,
both in this and other countries, we may refer to the fact, that
forty years ago, there were not more than six or seven fishing-
rod and tackle-makers and sellers in the metropolis ; now,
there are between /or^y and fifty ; and no small portion of the
business of these establishments, is the exportation of rods and
tackle to almost every part of the civilized world.
In reference to the present small work, on the Elvers and
Lochs of Scotland, now offered to the public, I have little to
say ; nor is there much required. I have told my own story,
I hope in plain and simple language, and in my own fashion.
I hold the opinion that angling should be lightly treated, and
tliat nothing tends to depress the art, and make it a dull and
lifeless thing to be written about, than the practice of compil-
ing treatises upon it, like Parliamentary Blue Books, full of
statistical and foreign matters, not in fair keeping with the
end or object of rod-fishing. That end is chiefly to open out
and stimulate the contemplative and reflective powers of the
inward man; and to make him feel the delightful pleasures
flowing from a free and direct intercourse with external na-
ture. Unless this grand end be kept in view, and all our
Avritten dissertations upon it have a reference to it, angling is
not worth a moment's consideration. The moral and thought-
ful habits ought to be the primary objects we aim at forming
and strengthening, in every mode of describing and recom-
mending the art. Besides, minute matters of detail can be of
no real service in the acquirement of tlie art. Xo man can be
made an angler by books, any more than he can be made a
shoemaker, a joiner, or a mason. It is a practical art, de-
pending upon experience and imitation. What we have to do,
therefore, in writing works upon the subject is, to induce men,
and more especially youthful ones, to become anglers ; to lead
them to contemplate the recreation as one, both physically and
morally, of a healthful and improving character. This must
ever be the chief end and recommendation of the art, and a
test of the value of works written upon it.
FEBRUARy 2, 1854.
ANGLING EIVERS AND LAKES
** Once more, North ! I view thy winding shores,
Climb thy bleak hills, and cross thy dusky moors;
Impartial view thee with a heedful eye,
And still by nature, not by censure try.
England, thy sister, is a gay coquette.
Whom art enlivens and temptations whet ;
Rich, proud, and wanton, she her value knows,
And in a conscious warmth of beauty glows,
Scotland comes after, like an unripe fair,
Who sighs with anguish at her sister's air,
Unconscious that she'll quickly have her day,
And be the toast when Albion's charms decay."
As the angler travels northward, and turns his back
on the rich and variegated scenery of England, he
discovers, on entering Scotland, a comparatively
bleak and open country, thinly ornamented with
wood and hedgerows, and where high and naked
mountains aspire to a towering elevation, and pre-
sent a cold, yet romantic picture, varied by numer-
ous streams and water-falls between the rocks. The
whole of the northern portion of the kingdom is
covered with high mountains, mth the exception of
Caithness, the coast of Sutherlandshire, and a por-
tion of Ross- shire. In the centre of the country-
there are high and mountainous grounds, but there
are here intervening valleys of great fertility and
beauty. In the South, except towards th€ Eastern
coast, elevated and wild tracts of land prevail, espe-
cially from Glenluice to the Cheviot Hills. The
lofty nature of Scotland generally gives rise to
numerous precipitate streams, fonning also many
occasional lakes or lochs, the waters of which, as
well as the rivers, are remarkably limpid. Alto-
gether, the disciples of the ^^ gentle art," who ram-
ble from the South, will readily perceive that the
scenery, as well as the manners and customs of the
people, ^ire of a different cast from what are to be
found in England.
As I have elsewhere said,*^* there is, perhaps, no
country in Europe, taking all things into account —
its comparatively limited extent, number and length
of streams, size of lakes, &c., &c. — so favourable for
the purposes of the angler, as Scotland, Every
little river, burn, torrent, or creek, however narrow
its bed or limited its: range, is full af fine trout ;
whilst at the same time the whole country abounds
with immense quantities of the varieties of the noble
salmon ; the fish, above all others, best qualified to
afford the angler the most heart-stirring and refined
amusement to which his art can aspire.
* See Hints on Angling; by Pahner Hackle, Esq. London, 184G.
Scotland being but a small country, bounded on
all sides but one by the ocean ; and being, more-
over, very hilly and mountainous, all the waters
wbich flow from its bosom have an easy, short, and
rapid descent to the sea ; and these circumstances
are favourable to the prolific powers of the trout and
salmon, and are the cause of those remarkable faci-
lities which the rod-fisher enjoys in every portion
of the ^' land o' cakes." There are here no long
tracts of flat country, tln-ough which drowsy rivers
meander with a sluggish motion, and thus become
comparatively unfit for the higher and more skilful
species of angling ; but everything is rushing, rapid,
clear, and sparkling, from the banks of the Tweed
to John- o' -Groat's house. In ever}- direction, and
in beautiful variety, you fdl in with the fine ma-
jestic river, the limpid bubbling stream, the moun-
tain torrent, and the silvery rivulet, with their count-
less millions of salmon and trout, Avhich revel in
unbounded freedom in their delicious waters, without
a rival, and unconscious of any enemy, save the
tyrant — man.
But, rich as Scotland is in piscatory resources and
facilities, this is not her only claim upon the atten-
tion of the angler. There is a remarkable degree of
ease and pleasure in angling in this coimtry, arising
from another source. Scotland affords, in the first
place, a comparatively open, and free field for the
pursuit of this delightful and national amusement.
Impediments aiising from exclusive reserves, and
pet waters, are but of rare occurrence ; and the fair
and gentlemaiily sportsman ^dll experience bnt little
interruption from obstructions of this description.
Indeed, it may almost be said, that nuisances of this
nature are entirely unknown in Scotland. On this
account, all the movements of the wanderer are free
and unfettered. The sport of angling is so univer-
sally indulged in, that there is not a town or village
in the whole country, situated near a river or stream
of any kind, in which you wdll not meet with
anglers of first-rate pretensions ; — ^men, too, who are
far above any mean feeling of petty jealousy at your
intrusion into their accustomed haunts, or your par-
ticipation in their favourite amusement. In fact,
despicable and unworthy feelings or sentiments of
this kind can never be encouraged or even generated
in a country where eveiy mere boy can go out and
fill his creel with the finest trout in a few hours,
and perhaps bring home half-a-dozen prime and
delicious salmon, or salmon trout, into the bargain.
But free and unrestrained as the angler's personal
movements are in this country, compared with Eng-
land, they are not more so than the movements of
his tackle. Here there are scarcely any impedi-
ments to the full and free use of the fly, arising
from trees, or bushes, or underwood of any kind.
The country is remarkably open ; and the rushing
and impetuous waters of the fresh streams, scoop
out for themselves such broad and capacious beds,
that ample room is afforded for the full swing of the
very longest line which a man can use with a rod.
You may, in many cases, ramble down the banks of
a river for several miles, and never stumble on a
single tree or biish.
Another great advantage wliich the angler enjoys
in Scotland arises from the fact, that he need not be
so fastidious about the choice of his flies as he would
require to be, or rather he would be compelled to
be, in other countries, by the mere form of custom
and prejudice. If you have any tolerably well made
flies, and the waters are in good order, you may as
surely calculate upon a good day's sport, as upon
the appearance of to-morroAv's sun. In a word, dis-
appointment can never be permanently, or even
generally, experienced in this splendid fishing
To impart something like orderly arrangement to
our descriptions and remarks, we shall ideally divide
the country into four chief compartments, making
the City of Glasgow the centre spot of our imaginary
fishing excursions. The First division is that of
the South and SouTH-EASTERisr ; the Second, the
South -Westeex ; the Third, the I^oeth and
JS'obth-Westeej^ ; and the rourth, the Eastern
and Noeth-E astern.
SOUTH AND SOUTH EASTEEN BIVISION,
Comprehending the Counties of Berwickshire, Peebleshire, Rox-
burghshire, Selkirkshire, Haddingtonshire, Edinburghshire,
llxlitiigowshilre, and lanarkshire.
1^ 11 R W I C K S H I Pi e.
THE RIVER TWEED.
" I've seen tlic smiling primrose flower
Among the "braes of YarroAv ;
I've felt the cutting winds of March
Among the hills of Ban-a :
I've wander'cl Scotland o'er and o'er,
From Bcauly to the Reed,
But the bonniest spot to throw a line,
Is the bonny — ^bonny Tweed."
The Tweed is, beyond all question, the finest river
in Scotland for either trout or salmon ; nay, we may
almost venture to add that, take it as a whole, there
is no river like it in all Europe. The angler can
fish it with the fly perfectly unmolested, from its
source to its mouth. During the first thirty miles
of its course, scarcely a bush or a tree is to be seen ;
nothing but the limpid stream winding its murmur-
ing M^ay among the hills of considerable elevation,
in many cases rounded as in a lathe, and covered
with tlic loveliest verdure to tlieir ver^^- summits.
To an eye long familiarised to the soft and rich, but
comj^aratively tame scenery of merry England, a
ramble along the banks of the Tweed, in this section
of its course, will afford a novel and truly delightful
treat. Fine rippling rushing streams, as clear and
transparent as the purest crystal, will attract the
enraptured angler every fifty or sixty yards on his
route ; whilst the broad channelled bed of the river,
free from bush or twig, or impediment of any kind,
will afford him every possible facility for casting his
line, and landing his fish. If there be a single
breath of ^dnd moving about these romantic hills, it
soon frisks upon the surface of the glassy waters, so
that, even in the brightest weather, the industrious
angler can scarcely be disappointed of his sport.
The supply of fish seems to be inexhaustible, for from
16 to 20 dozen of trout, with a goodly sprinkling of
salmon, are no uncommon results of a single day's
work by an expert and persevering sportsman.
Another great advantage which the Tweed pos-
sesses, as a fishing river, to the general mass of
anglers, arises from the circumstance, that all her
tributarj^ streams afford an almost endless succession
of splendid sport. They are all supplied in rich
abundance with trout and salmon ; and as they flow
from many opposite directions, they afford to the
inhabitants of widely separated sections of the king-
dom, the opportunity of enjoying the most delightful
amasement in all parts of their waters. But, good
as these tributary streams unquestionably are, as
experience will prove tlieni to be, they are still not
to be compared Avith tbe parent water. The angler
will be compelled to acknowledge that tbe Tweed
stands unrivalled, and that there are few streams — -
we may almost say none — which can compete with
this delightful fishing river.
We have angled the Tweed several times, from
its earliest risings to the town of Berwick. We
have likewise fished sections of it, by three different
routes. The first is from the source to the sea.
This is the best, at least to our fancy. We never like
wandering up a river, and could give, if necessary,
a thousand and one reasons for not liking to do so.
But, should an angler come from the South, by way
of Carlisle, to try his luck in the Tweed, then let
him stop at the Elvanfoot station, on the Caledonian
Eailway, and walk over to the Tweed, which he
will find among a cluster of alpine mountains, at
about six miles* distance. Or, should he be at the
village of Moffat, let him find his way to the Shaw's
Inn, or Tweedshaws, as it is often called, and here
he will meet with the river in its infant struggles
through the mountain passes, follow it down,
making such daily advances as his pleasure or time
may dictate. We promise him, if he has the pui^e
and simj)le feelings of a real angler, and has a mind
susceptible of being affected with the sublimities and
beauties of nature, he will not find that his labour
has been ill requited.
We have gone by another route to the Tweed.
We have traversed, starting from Carlisle, the vale
of the Teviot, and reached the main river at Kelso.
We have likewise set off from Berwick, and gone to
Coldstream or Kelso by railway, and thrown a line
on some of the intervening sections of the Tweed.
Anglers from Edinburgh may reach the Tweed by
Melrose, and those from Glasgow by way of Biggar,
Circumstances must guide the angler as to the eligi-
bility of each of these routes.
But supposing that a touiist wishes to ramble
doAvn the entire river, then he may commence fly
fishing for trout, soon after he leaves Twcedshaws.
In the spring, if it has been long very dry weather,
the streams are rather too small and clear to do
much execution, till you get below the Crooh Inn.
Here the water widens a little, and gets fuller and
deeper. We meet with longer reaches of still water,
in which fish take shelter. They are, however, but
small fish in this part of the river, and salmon and
large bull trout are but seldom caught by rod.
There are very fine streams and long pools of water
from- the Crook to the junction of the Biggar water
Avith the Tweed.
The Heartstone mountain, near the Crook Inn, is
a magnificent object. The river runs here through
the hills in great beauty. Many anglers make the vil-
lage of Broughton their head quarters in fishing this
section of the Tweed. It is about a mile and half
from its banks, and there is a good inn, long esta-
blished, called the McQueen Arms, where there is
good tare at reasonable prices. This village is seven
miles from the Crook, and foiu'teen fr'om Tweed-
sliaws. As we come down tlie Mil from tlie village,
and catch a first glance of the Tweed, the prospect
is r^ry imposing. On every side lofty hills present
themselves ; and the farm houses, and well culti-
vated fields, round their base, and the plantations
which skirt the mansion of Tweedy House, furnish
one of the most beautiful sights that any country
can boast of.
The Biggar water, which enters here into the
Tweed, is a fair fishing stream ; the trout not
numerous, but rather large, and of rich quality.
Worm fishing, in the hot and dry season of the year,
is often practised here with great success. The
brandling is the best bait, and next to it is the com-
mon red worm.
AYe have always found, in angling for trout in
these higher sections of the waters of the Tweed,
that in the months of March, April, and May, large
flies are the most successful. They should likewisd
be of a lightish colour, with good sized wings. The
woodcock wing, with hare's ear body, is a general
favourite with the resident anglers in these loca-
From the entrance of the Eiggar to the village of
Stobo, there are some delightful angling streams,
and reaches of still water. The ^dllage is pleasantly
situated. The parish church is said to be full five
hundred years old. Michel de Dunde, the rector of
it, swore fealty to Edward I., at the town of Ber-
wick, on the 2d August, 1296. The scenery in the
neighbourliood is particularly interesting. The hills
are of moderate elevation, well wooded, and neatly
arranged. The yalleys are in the highest state of
cultivation, and the antique church stands by the
margin of a small stream, which pours its limpid
waters into the main river. The burial ground)
containing the mouldering ashes of many genera-
tions, is of great antiquity. A more sweetly seques-
tered spot it would be difficult to find.
There is a magnificent view obtained from the top
of Dramore Hill, in this neighbourhood, over a spa-
cious plain, which lies at the bottom of a deep basin,
around which the Tweed winds its path. ^^Tot far
off is the grave of the famed prophet. Merlin, who
flourished in the sixth century.
The river Lyne enters the Tweed at Barnes. Tliis
is a delightful fishing tributary of the main water,
and has a run of about twenty miles. Its streams
are gushing and rapid, with deep holes and eddies.
When the water is in order in summer — that is, is
not too small and clear — there is excellent sport to
be obtained. We have often taken large fish out of
it, with red worm, in bright sunny days, when the
fly was useless. Trolling, after a freshet, is deadly
in this stream. The Tartli will afford a good day's
angling when in full trim.
The Manor river enters the Tweed a little before
it passes IN'eidpath Castle ; a most beautiful object in
the general landscape. There is, at certain times,
capital trout fishing in this tributary. The whole
of the river scenery is here of the most fascinating
character, and has often brought to our I'ecollection
the lines of the poet Thompson :
" And here awhile the muse,
High hovering o'er the broad cerulean scene.
Sees Caledonia in romantic view ;
Her airy mountains, from the waving main
Invested with a keen diffusive sky,
Breathing the soul acute ; her forests huge,
Incult, robust, and tall, by nature's hand
Planted of old ; her azure lakes between,
Pour'd out extensive, and of wat'ry wealth
Full ; winding deep and green, her fertile vales ;
With many a cool, translucent, brimming flood
Wash'd lovely, from the Tweed (pure parent stream)
To where the north-inflated tempest foams
O'er Orca's or Betubium's highest peak."
Peebles is a fine angling station on the Tweed.
The river presents in every locality the finest ranges
of angling water. The small tributary called the
Eddlcston runs into it at this town. This feeder
abounds with smaU trout ; and after a fresh in sum-
mer tlie angler may ^ his basket with them in a
few hours. We once tried the red-worm in its
waters, when very low, and in the brightest weather,
and took about six dozen out of it during the after-
tcrnoon. Hut few of them were more than a quar-
ter of a pound in weight.
There is much to interest the lover of fine scenery,
and the antiquary, about the town of Peebles, and
the banks of the Tweed, above and below it. The
most conspicuous object is IS'eidpath Castle, which
is one among many of the strong castles erected in
former days in this part of the kingdom against the
incursions of the English marauders. These build-
ings were in the shape of square towers, three stories
in height ; the lowest one, on the ground floor, being
vaulted, was commonly appropriated for the recep-
tion of cattle and horses in times of danger. These
towers of refuge are placed alternately on each side
of the river, and command a view of each. A fire
kindled on the top was the ordinary signal of alarm,
and by this simple means a large extent of countr}^
was readily called into hostile activity.
" A score of fires, I ween,
From height, and hill, and chff were seen,
Each with warlike tidings fraught.
Each from each the signal caught ;
Each after each they glanced in sight,
As stars arise upon the night,
They gleam' d on many a dusky tarn,
Haunted by the lonely earn,*
On many a cairn's grey pyramid,
"Where urns of mighty chiefs lie hid."
— Lay of the Last Minstrel.
PoUowing, with rod in hand, the course of the
river, on its northern banks, we pass a succession of
country seats, the grounds about which are culti-
vated with singular care and neatness. The fishing
waters, all the way down to Innerleithen, a distance
of six miles from Peebles, are of the most favourable
and inviting kind, both for salmon and trout.
Ihverleithen has, of late years, become quite a
* Scottish Eagle.
fashionable place for anglers and tourists. Its situa-
tion is both healthy and beautiful. The Quair, and
the Zeithen, both tributaries of the Tweed in this
locality, are full of small trout, which are best
obtained after a flood, when their waters have sub-
sided a little, and have assumed an ale colour. We
have seen both these streams nearly dr^^, in certain
seasons of the year.
Leaving Innerleithen, and passing down the
Tweed, we come to Caddon Water , a feeder to the
main river, containing small trout in great quanti-
ties. The country is magnificent in every direction,
and the fishing in all the various localities of the
Tweed, is first rate. In the height of the angling
season — that is, from the middle of March till the
month of June — we find eveiy bit cottage by the
river side, from Peebles downwards, that can muster
a bed of any kind, occupied by some piscatory ama-
teur. It is often amusing to see to what personal
inconveniency, in the way of lodging, men of rank
and fortune will put themselves, in order to pursue
their favourite sport.
We shall now, for a short time, leave the ^^ bonny
bonny Tweed," and make an excursion from its fer-
tile and beautiful banks, to other scenes, not less
interesting, and fruitful both of sport and serious
and profitable contemplation. We shall make an
imaginary trip to Selkirk, which lies at a short dis-
tance from the part of the Tweed we are now at.
It is a capital fishing station, with an interesting
looking country around it. The tour we purpose
taking the reader is to fish, the Yarrow and the
Mtrich, two considerable feeders of the main river,
and which jointly ponr their waters into it, a little
Well, the distance from Selkirk to Moffat is thirty-
fonr miles. JS'o coaches, nor railways, nor anything
save the limbs, can assist us. Shall we ascend the
Yarrow, and come down by the Ettrick, or ascend
the Ettrick, and descend by the Yarrow ? It is
Hobson's choice ; we decide for the first. We
leave Selkii-k, and after about a two miles' walk,
arrive at the entrance of the Yarrow into the Ettrick.
The most magnificent scenery all around, and the
landscape down the united streams, with Selkirk
in the distance, is very imposing.
A portion of the Yarrow is preserved for the first
few miles after its junction with the Ettrick, but
when the angling tourist reaches its free waters,
near Broadmeadows, he will not be disappointed of
a fair share of sport. But we must confess that the
Yarrow is not quite to our fancy ; and one of the
chief reasons for placing it low in our estimation is,
that it has no long and deep reaches of water. It is
too streamy. The declivity of its bed is too great
from Loch St. Mary, out of which it flows. 'Eo
river can lay claim to first-rate fishing qualifications
that does not abound in long stretches of still and
deep water. These are the natural places of shelter
and protection for fish, and especially for large ones.
These still and tranquil pools are the nurseries — the
preserves — the batteaux — so to speak, that supply
the streams. The still sheets of water are never
withont a large portion of trout, whatever may be
their condition — whether turbid or clear — shallow or
flooded. I^ow, in angling the Yarrow, we have sun-
dry times noticed, that there is not one single piece of
still water that trout would take shelter in for any
length of time ; all is tumbling, broken, shapeless
streams. For, to an angler's eye, it is requisite that
a stream ever should have a certain shape — a con-
tour — a physiognomy — a character — to solicit his
attention and favour. Every disciple of the rod
carries about with him an ideal figure of a perfect
stream, where, in all rivers — under every parallel of
latitude and longitude — he is morally certain to find
the object of which he is in quest. This beau ideal
of watery conformations is not a variable or uncer-
tain thing ; it has in every one's eye the same gene-
ral outline and expression. "We know that what is
at this moment prefigured to our imaginations as the
height of perfection, is the same as that which
occupies the mind of every other angler in the king-
dom, who is entitled to the appellation. A fine
fishing stream has all the standard elements of per-
manent beauty that appertain to the beautiful in
every branch of art or science whatever.
But we must take the Yarrow as we fimd it, and,
with all its drawbacks, it is an interesting stream to
throw a line in. The distance from its junction
with the Ettrick to St. Mary's Loch is about fifteen
miles, and the public road runs close to its banks for
the entire route. They are generally lofty, and the
mind is kept continually upon the stretch by the
constant succession of delightful landscapes which
burst upon the eye from the numerous windings of
the river. When the tourist arrives at Douglas
bum, he may readily obtain a few fine trout out of
it, by means of worm, should he feel so disposed.
This small rivulet is a favourite haunt of the salmon
and salmon-trout in spawning time, and many hun-
dreds of them fall a prey to the spears and leisters
of the poachers at this season of the y6ar.
When the angler arrives at the vicinity of AUrivey
formerly the residence of the late James Hogg, the
poet, he must consider himself on classic ground.
Whether the fish be taking well or ill, he must lay
down his rod, look around him, and think of bygone
genius, and the mutability of human affairs. Here,
upon these very identical river banks, and in these
very streams before us, some of the most highly
gifted of men were wont to relax the severity of
their intellectual studies by the rational hilarity and
enjoyments of the rod. Should the tourist's personal
experience, like our own, carry him back for five-and-
thirty years, and should he have been so fortunate
as to have ever thrown a fly, for a few hours, with
Sir Walter Scott, Hogg, John Wilson, Sir William
Chantrey, and Sir Humphrey Davy, how serious
will be the train of his thoughts, and what a tender
melancholy will insensibly steal over his spirit !
These most devoted and enthusiastic anglers, who
have fiUed the world with their fame, have all, alas !
save one, quitted the stage of life, and he, it is much
to be feared, will never again throw a line on his
favourite Yarrow. In the little parlour of the Inn
by the roadside, the Gordon Arms, in this locality,
many a most delightfal hour has been spent by these
eminent men in recounting afresh their piscatory
adventures on the varied waters of the neighbour-
hood. It will be long before we see their like
It is delicious to ascend the valley of the Yarrow
in the month of June, when nature appears in her
loveliest attire. The woods by the skirts of the
mountains send forth the sweetest music. The
blackbird and the thrush pipe their richest notes on
'Hhe green- wood tree;" and the gentle cooing of
the wood-pigeon falls with interesting softness
from the surrounding groves. Here, too, we have
the joyous lark, pouring a flood of melody in the
solitary wilderness. The wild bees, likewise, hum
among the honeyed blossoms ; and the scented
wind, breathing over the fragrant heath, plays with
the rustling foliage. 'Nov do all these fill up the
interesting materials of the landscape. We have
the soothing murmurings of the river as it falls over
its rugged bed; the sheep grazing peacefully by
the mountain side ; while on some distant part of its
breast the shepherd may be seen, wrapped in his
plaid, with his sportive dog at his feet, winding his
way up the deep ascent.
When the angler arrives at St. Mary's Loch, the
general scenery impresses the mind with feelings of
loneliness and solitude. This sheet of water is beau-
tifuUy described in the second canto of Sir AYalter
Scott's '' Maimion."
"Lone St. Mary's silent lake.
Nor fen nor sedge
Pollute the pure lake's crystal edge.
Abrupt and sheer the mountains sink
At once upon the level brink ;
And just a trace of silver sand
Marks where the waters meet the land,
For in the mirror bright and blue
Each hill's huge outline you may view,
Shaggy with heath but lonely bare ;
Nor tree, nor bush, nor brake is there,
Save where of land yon slender line
Bears 'thwart the lake the scattered pine.
Yet even this nakedness has power,
And aids the feelings of the hour ;
Nor thicket, dell, nor copse you spy,
Where living thing concealed might lie.
There's nothing left to fancy's guess :
You see that all is loneliness.
And silence aids : though the steep hills
Send to the lake a thousand rills.
In summer-tide so soft they weep
The sound but lulls the ear asleep ;
Your horse's hoof- tread sounds too rude,
So stilly is the solitude."
This loch is about three miles in length, and, in
some places, nearly a mile in breadth. The upper
loch which joins it is called the Loch of the Lowes.
It is about a mile in length, and is joined to St.
Mary's by a narrow stream of a few feet in width.
Both waters are well stocked with good-sized trout.
Bull trout have occasionally been caught of great
weight. One in particular was killed by an English
gentleman, in 1846, which weighed nineteen pounds
six ounces. There are also pike, eels, and perch, in
The Ileggat, the main feeder of the loch, is a most
fruitful stream for trout. It was in this water that
Hogg, in some of his writings, tells us, that he once
took out of it nearly a cart load of fine trout. "When it
has been long dry weather, this stream becomes ex-
ceedingly small, and will scarcely bear fly fishing ;
but to take it after a few hours' rain, or when it has
subsided into what is called half floods then is the
time to fill a basket. The fish are generally of very
fair size for such a water. Some of two pounds
weight have occasionally been taken, even in the
higher sections of the stream.
The Chapelthorpe and Corse-cleugh streams, that
enter the Lowes Loch, are likewise full of trout.
To be successful in these small but prolific waters,
attention must be paid to their state as to fulness,
for, when very small in volume, it is of little use
the angler troubling himself with them, except it
be for the wildness and grandeur of the scenery in
their respective runs.
I have seen almost all kinds of flies used in this
district, and with a fair share of success ; but I have
generally found that the Yarrow requires good-sized
winged flies, and a lightish colour is commonly pre-
ferred to any other. There is here, however, no
great nicety required ; such is my own impression,
at least, from what I have myself seen and heard.
The angler should not visit St. Mary's without
calling at the cottage of Mrs. Eichardson, known
under the cognomen of Tiby Shiels, situated at the
junction of the two lochs. Good accommodations
can be had ; and though the house is small, and its
embellishments of rather primitive cast, yet he must
not be peevish or fretful, seeing that she can furnish
him with a long list of Dukes, and Earls, and Lords,
and Earonets, and Savans, who, in their piscatory
excursions, have from time to time made themselves
happy and cozy under her humble roof.
After leaving St. Mary's Loch and its neighbour-
ing streams, the angler cannot make a more inter-
esting journey than to pass, on the main road which
leads to Moffat, to the point where Loch Skene
flows over the mountain edge, and forms the well-
known cascade, called the Gret/ Mare^s Tail, and
which constitutes the commencement of Moffat water.
The walk through the defile of mountains is singu-
larly grand and impressive ; and an effort should be
made, at the proper locality in the route, to pay a
visit to Loch Skene, where fine trout are to be
caught, but not in any great numbers.
After the angler is satisfied with this sheet of
water, he may then pass off the Moffat road, at the
left hand side, and endeavour to make his way
through a very rugged and wild district, tow^ards
the sources of the Ettrick. This is one of the most
romantic angling tours which can be taken in Scot-
land, inasmuch as it is singularly calculated to
impress the mind with a deep sense of loneliness,
coupled with ideas of wild sublimity and power.
A man holds here a somewhat strange communion
with himself; he feels an overwhelming sense of
strange joy. His own voice and his own movements
seem odd and grotesque. He can scarcely for the
moment realise that there are such things in exist-
ence as great cities, full of people — splendid palaces
— crowded streets — and the everlasting din of
coaches and vehicles of all sorts, heard for miles,
and which falls upon our ear like the distant noise
of the ceaseless ocean. All these things seem like a
dream to an angler in the Ettrick forest. All things
around and about him are so primeval, solitary, and
rudely beautiful, that he can scarcely entertain any-
thing like a correct conception of his own position
in the world around him. Talk of fish! What are
fish to the vivid trains of strange thoughts that rush
through the mind in this region of barren and rugged
moorland ; and which give to the hopes and fears
and emotions of the human soul such a singular
phantasmagoric representation ! It is not the laden
basket of fine trout, but the singular state our feel-
ings are placed in, in traversing these desolate tracts
of countrj^, that makes a journey through them ever
deeply engraved on the tablet of the memory.
As a fishing river, it is impossible to say too much
for the Ettrick ; every part of it is well filled with
trout, with a sprinkling of salmon. It is full thirty
miles in extent from its source till it arrives at Sel-
kirk. It has likewise several feeders of some extent,
and possessing good fishing waters, especially for
worm, after a flood. The Timah and the Eankle^
burn are the chief of these. Whitlings have been
caught in the Ettrick in the latter part of the year.
In fishing down the Ettrick, should the tourist feel
inclined, he may throw a line into several lakes in
the high grounds situated between the Eankle-burn
and a stream called the Ale. These small lakes have
fine trout, of good average size ; and, when the
weather is favourable, afibrd a fair portion of sport.
The chief of these waters are Clear-bum, the Shaws
loch, and Alemoor. We have seen four dozen of
fine rich trout taken out of the last sheet of water,
Tvdth a brown- winged fly, in less than three hours.
We have heard anglers, who have often fished in
these lochs, say, that they were always more suc-
cessful when the wind blew from the east than from
any other quarter.
Having now completed the tour of the Yarrow
and Ettrick, and arrived at the point of the Tweed
from which we set out, Ave must descend further
down this prince of rivers, and give a brief notice of
the several sections of it, which require, and are
worthy of, particular remark.
The parts of the Tweed below Imierleithen are
considered those which form the starting points of
good salmon angling. This fish is not found in great
abundance higher up in the river, but confines his
excursions to those deep and broad stretches of water
which afford him shelter, and which we more fre-
quently meet with as the river approaches the sea.
The rod-fisher will find that his sport for this noble
fish is in an inverse ratio to Ms distance from the
month of the river ; and this rnle likewise regulates
the market value of all the salmon stations upon its
And here it may be requisite to remark, for the
especial guidance of English anglers, who often
come to the Tweed entirely ignorant of the rules
and privileges connected with their favourite amuse-
ment in this part of the kingdom, that there is no
substantial restriction put upon rod-angling for trout
in any part of the Tweed ; but for salmon, and
salmon-trout, the same liberty does not exist. The
fisheries for the latter fish ai'e, collectively, of consi-
derable value ; are regulated by Act of Parliament,
and belong to various individuals, some of whom
keep them in their own hands, and some rent them
to others. The value of these difierent fishing sections
of water depends upon their nature, extent, and dis-
tance from the mouth of the river. In 1851, a
station at Spital, opposite Berwick, of two hundred
yards in extent, yielded a rental of £800 per annum,
while there were many places of five times the
extent, between Berwick and Innerleithen, that
scarcely brought more than a five-pound note per
annum. But the river is thus parcelled out into
separate lots, whatever their value, and become sub-
ject to the jurisdiction and rules of private property.
Many sections of the stream are rented by profes-
sional fishermen, who keep a boat, nets, &c., for the
taking of the fish within their respective limits.
These men make a trade of accommodating private
gentlemen with their boats, at the general rate of
ten shillings a-day, with refreshments; and this
arrangement affords facilities for strangers to indulge
in this mode of angling, who would otherwise be
cut off from its enjoyment. These boatmen are
commonly very skilful anglers, and excellent guides
to the haunts of the salmon. To gentlemen who are
anxious to try their skill in this highest branch of
the ^^ gentle craft," we would recommend them to
place themselves under one of these boatmen, who
will initiate them, in a short time, into all the mys-
teries of the art of angling in the Tweed.
What is connected, in the way of legal right and
privilege, with the salmon fisheries on this river,
apply, in substance, to all the salmon rivers in Scot-
The waters about Abbotsford, and below it, to
the mouth of the Gala, are excellent fishing spots,
both for salmon and trout. The Gala itself is now
but an indifferent stream for the rod. In hot sum-
mers it is often quite dry for some distance from
Galashiels ; and the manufactures now carried on
in this town have gradually rendered the fishing
of this feeder scarcely worth notice. Higher up in
the Gala a few trout are to be had in certain
states of the water. The Tweed, from Galashiels to
Melrose, presents many stretches of water of great
beauty, and which abound with fish at all seasons of
The famous Abbey is only a short step from the
river, and its ruins are well entitled to a visit from
the angler. It was founded about the twelfth cen-
tury. It unites the minute beauties of its peculiar
architecture with the lofty and solemn grandeur for
which it is remarkable, more completely than any
other monastic ruins in the British Empire. Those
unequalled models of delicate workmanship which
Sir Walter Scott has so well described, and which
particularly display themselves in the upper part of
the building, excite the surprise and admiration of
The stream called the Leader enters the Tweed
a little below Melrose, and is well supplied with
trout, and will richly aiford a day's angling when its
waters are in fair order. The Rutherford water is
the next feeder of the main river, and is esteemed
as a first-rate water. The trout in it are larger,
upon an average, than those in any other tributary
of the Tweed. It is chiefly to the Eutherford
stream that the members of the Tiviotdale Fishing
Club resort when contesting for the annual prizes.
The Tweed, from Melrose do wn to Kelso, is one suc-
cession of admirable fishing waters, both for salmon
and trout. There is scarcely one locality better than
another ; they are all equally good. They are fre-
quented every year by the first anglers in the king-
dom ; and it is in this neighbourhood that they
achieve the greater part of their piscatory triumphs.
Having arrived at Kelso, which is a first-rate
angling station, we shall here take breath, and pro-
pose another tour to the great tributarj^ or branch of
the Tweed, namely, the Tiviot, and all its chief
feeders. This is well entitled to the angler s atten-
tion ; and we shall attempt to be his guide, com-
mencing at the head of the water, or at that part of
its main tributaries which join the English border.
But we shall make a few prefatory remarks ere we
formally commence our proposed ramble.
The Tweed is Yerj beautiful in the neighbourhood
of Kelso. In looking up from the bridge, the scene
is very imposing. We see the junction of the two
rivers — the ruins of Eoxburgh Castle ; in the fore-
ground, the Palace of Fleurs, with its sloping and
close- shorn lawn, and its drooping trees touching
the surface of the waters. On the South side of the
river we recognise the mansion of Springwood Park,
with the light and handsome bridge over the Tiviot.
On the Korth side is the town, extending along the
banks of the river, with Ednaur House, and the
lofty ruins of the Abbey, in the distance.
The Tiviot runs through nearly the whole extent
of Roxburghshire, conferring the name of Tiviot-
dale on that portion of it through which it passes.
This great arm of the Tweed rises out of the
moimtain range on the south-west border of the
kingdom, and flows a direct north-east course past
Hawick, Denholm, to Eckford, and then joins the
Tweed a little above Kelso. It runs a course of
fuU forty miles. Its tributary streams are numerous,
and are aU delightful angling waters, where the
sportsman confines his ambition to small trout. The
principal of these are the Allan j the Slitrig, the Jed,
and the Kail, from the Northumberland border ; and
the Borthwich, and Ale, Selkirkshire. The whole
course of the Tiviot is exceedingly beautiful.
The valley through which it passes is very fertile,
and the banks of the stream are often abrupt,
lofty, and picturesque, and in many places stud-
ded with gentlemen's seats. The part of the
route of the river above the town of Hawick is more
pastoral than agricultural. It is a good deal fished
in the neighbourhood of Hawick by the manufac-
turing population of the town. It is advisable to
commence a short distance from it. In taking the
general tour of the river, the angler will pass through
the chief vale of Rule, and the principal mountain
ranges of what is denominated Tiviotdale — the
Dunian and Euberslaw. In this interesting ramble
we perceive both sides of the river studded with
interesting cottages and noble mansions ; the most
distinguished of the latter is Minto House, the seat
of the Earl of Minto. The scenery in the vicinity
is exceedingly picturesque and beautiful, particu-
larly from a spot called EarnhiU's Bed, which is
said to have been the hiding-place of a famous robber
of that name, to which circumstance and allusion is
made in the following lines of the great Scottish
poet : —
*' On Minto' s crags the moonbeams glint,
Wliere Barnliill hewed his bed of flint,
Who flung his outlawed limbs to rest,
Wliere falcons hang their giddy nest.
For many a league his prey could spy —
Cliffs doubling on their echoes borne,
The terrors of the robber's horn ;
Cliffs, which for many a later year
The warbling Doric reed shall bear.
When some sad swain shall teach the grove
Ambition is no cure for love."
In the higher departments of the Tiviot, it is
difficult for the mind to fix upon any particular spot
of its banks more interesting and beautiful than
others. There is quite a constellation of fine scenes.
Isolated hills and mountains present themselves in
defile, and project one behind another like side-
scenes in a theatre. They are often intersected by
small valleys and strips of land, divided, in some
cases, by a small rivulet, which reflects upon its
limpid waters the beauty of the trees and bushes by
which its banks are adorned. Again we see other
hills, which exhibit a mixture of the gloomy and
the gay ; while those which appear at the back of
the scene are veiled with magical effect in the trans-
parent mist of the horizon. On the one bank we
see verdant meadows rise with gentle slope to a dis-
tant prospect, formed and bounded by small chains of
abrupt mountains ; on the other we see jutting pro-
montories, and bluff headlands, studded with clumps
of dwarfish trees or shrubs, which give a most
pleasing effect to the general landscape. It would be
difficult to find rural pictures in which the pleasing
and the romantic predominate with such a delightful
alternation, and such perfect harmony.
Leaving Carlisle, or some of the neighbouring
parts of the country on the English border, we cross
the moors, and arrive at the sources of the Tiviot.
The Lymy-Cleugh, and Prostly burns are two of its
first feeders. These abound with small, but good
trout, and are sometimes taken with worm, in the
summer months, after rain, in great numbers. After
the main river is increased by these rivulets, it be-
comes a fair fishing stream, and yields capital sport
to the fly-fisher. The streams are commonly com-
pact, full, and rippling, and afford places of shelter
for fish of some size. Passing down the stream, we
come to where the Allan and Eorthwick waters join
it. Both these tributaries abound with plenty of
trout, of fair average size, and may be caught
readily by the worm in summer weather, when not
too low and clear. Their respective banks are inter-
esting to the tourist, and many beautiful views pre-
sent themselves, fitted to captivate the eye of an
artist. jS'ear to Goldielands, where the Eorthwick
joins the Tiviot, stands the interesting ancient border
fortress, called Hardin Castle. In the front of this
place there is a dark and precipitous dell, clothed
on both sides with fine timber ; and in the recesses
of which the Scottish freebooters of former times
were wont to assemble for the division of their law-
less spoil. This is alluded to by Sir Walter Scott,
in his '' Lay of the Last Minstrel."
" Wide lay his lands round Oakwood tower,
And wide round haunted Castle Ower ;
High over Borthwick's mountain flood,
His wood-embosomed mansion stood.
In tlie dark glen so deep below
The herds of plundered England low."
When the tourist arrives at Hawick, a manufac-
turing town of considerable extent, he will fall in
with the Slitrig, a feeder of the Tiviot. It is only,
however, in certain states of the water that this
stream is entitled to much notice. Its trout are
good, and some even of considerable size have occa-
sionally been taken out of it ; but when an angler's
time is limited, he must not trifle it away in doubt-
ful and fitful streams. The main river, both for
some distance above and below the town, is much
fished by the manufacturing population ; but, after
a good day's rain, I have seen capital sport obtained
even in these much frequented localities. For some
miles below Hawick the river is beautifully adapted
for fly-fishing; and the streams are singularly
enchanting to the angler's eye, in point of conforma-
tion, and rippling expression.
The Eule enters Tiviot nearly opposite Minto
hills. Pine trout are to be had in it, and its banks
are pleasing and diversified. The Ale joins the
main stream about two miles below the entrance of
the Eule. The Ale springs out of the high grounds
of Selkirkshire, and has a considerable run — about
eighteen or twenty miles. It is a good fishing tri-
butary, and yields trout of fair size and excellent
The angler will find the banks of the Jed, in the
neighbourhood of Jedburgh, very picturesque and
interesting. The walk through the grove which
adorns the left bank, near the town, is a really
delightful one. The Abbey, a place of great anti-
quity, is best seen from the banks of the river. The
angling in the Jed is good, particularly after a sum-
mer's fresh, when the minnow and. worm will be
found to do great execution. A fly-fisher must here
practice the art of chucking his line underneath the
trees and brushwood.
A little below the entrance of the Jed into the
Tiviot, we find the Oxnam water. It is not of any
great extent ; but the main river about this locality,
and for some distance down, is exceedingly favour-
able for the general angler. These places aboimd
with admirable stretches of water.
The Kale tributary is a great favourite with all
the anglers about Kelso and its vicinity, and deserv-
edly so. It is full of fine trout; and when they are
in the humour — and they are by no means sulky or
capricious — they greedily seize everything in the
shape of a fly presented to them. I^ay, when all
shape seemed to have gone — when wings and body
were torn to tatters — we have seen them rise at the
bare hook as eagerly as at the most highly finished
fly that ever came out of a London tackle-maker's
shop. The Kale trout are, in fact, the most raven-
ous and unscrupulous feeders we ever saw.
Einding ourselves again at Kelso, there is a fine
succession of streams and stretches of still water, for
many miles below it. These have various names
bestowed upon them by anglers of the neighbour-
hood, but they are of no importance to the general
piscatory tourist. Some of these spots, bearing names,
are great favourites with some anglers, while by
others they are but lightly esteemed But the real
truth is, that they are all excellent — excellent in the
highest sense of the word. They are not to be
equalled by any similar extent of water in the king-
dom. Prom Kelso to the mouth of the Eden, a dis-
tance of three miles, there is a succession of the finest
streams and pools of water that an angler's eye can
He should, if possible, make a point of throwing
a line into this small but interesting feeder of the
Tweed. The most suitable spot for a short excur-
sion to the Eden is at Ednam, distant about two
miles from the main river, and famous for being the
birth-place of the poet Thomson, the author of ^' The
Seasons," to whose memory a column has been
recently erected. The angler of literary taste can-
not but feel a great degree of pleasure at visiting
a spot hallowed by the memory of such a brilliant
genius. The poet left this village in childhood, but
he was ever afterwards remarkably attached to the
banks of the Eden ; and it was probably from his
early associations with this stream that he penned
his well-known lines on the art of angling :
" When, with his lively ray, the potent sun
Has pierc'd the streams, and rous'd the finny race,
Then, issuing cheerful to thy sport repair :
Chief should the western breezes curling play,
And light o'er aether bear the shadowy clouds.
High to their fount, this day, amid the hills
And woodlands warbling round, trace up the brooks ;
The next pursue their rocky-channel' d maze
Down to the river, in whose ample wave
Their little Naiads love to sport at large.
Just in the dubious point, where with tHe pool
Is mix'd the trembling stream, or where it boils
Around the stone, or from the hollowed bank
Reverted plays in undulating flow.
There throw, nice judging, the delusive fly ;
And, as you lead it round in artful curve,
"With eye attentive mark the springing game.
Strait as above the surface of the flood
They wanton rise, or, urg'd by hunger, leap.
Then fix, with gentle twitch, the barbed hook ;
Some lightly tossing to the grassy bank,
And to the shelving shore slow dragging some
With various hand proportion' d to their force.
If yet too young, and easily deceiv'd,
A worthless prey scarce bends your pliant rod.
Him, piteous of his youth, and the short space
He has enjoy' d the vital light of heaven,
Soft disengage, and back into the stream
The speckl'd captive throw ; but, should you lure
From his dark haunt, beneath the tangled roots
Of pendant trees, the monarch of the brook.
Behoves you then to ply your finest art.
Long time he, foUoAving cautious, scans the fly,
And oft attempts to seize it, but as oft
The dimpled water speaks his jealous fear.
At last, while haply o'er the shaded sun
Passes a cloud, he desperate takes the death
"With sullen plunge : at once he darts along.
Deep struck, and runs out all the lengthen'd line.
Then seeks the farthest ooze, the sheltering weed,
The cavern' d bank, his old secure abode.
And flies aloft, and flounces round the pool,
Indignant of tlie guile. With yielding hand,
That feels him still, yet to his furious course
Gives way, you, now retiring, following now,
Across the stream, exhaust his idle rage.
Till floating iJroad upon his breathless side.
And to his fate abandon' d, to the shore
You gaily drag your unresisting prize."
The Eden rises near to Mellerstain Mill, and has a
range of about ten miles. Its banks are covered in
many localities with trees and brushwood, and,
therefore, a short rod and line are required. It
contains no great volume of water, for, even at its
entrance to the Tweed, it may, in dry weather, be
crossed by a good leap. The trout are fine and rich,
and of fair size. The stretches of still water in it
are full of fish. It is said that the salmon never
ascend its waters, but that the salmon-trout do very
freely. The Leet water, which joins the Tweed at
Coldstream, abounds with fine large trout, but they
are only to be taken when the water is in a certain
state of fullness, and with the worm or minnow. A
good part of its waters are preserved.
The Tweed, from Coldstream, a good station for
the angler, down to the Whitadder, is delightful
fishing water, abounding with both salmon and trout.
This feeder is an important one to the fishers on the
Eastern coast, and is much frequented by sportsmen
from many of the towns in the JS'orth of England.
The Whitadder enters the Tweed about six miles
from Berwick-upon-Tweed, and on its northern side.
It is a noble stream, and fine salmon and trout are
taken in it, at all times of the year. The river has
a run of full twenty-five miles from its higher feeders,
near Blacker stone, till its junction with the main
water. The fish are, however, but of poor quality,
and run rather small. The Blackadder joins it about
ten miles from its mouth, and about two miles from
the village of Whit some. The trout of the Blackad-
der are quite different from those of the Whitadder.
The former are rich in quality, and of large size ;
they are not, however, so numerous. Some portions
of the Blackadder are preserved.
There are some spots of singular beauty on the
banks of the Whitadder. I have often ascended
some of the more elevated of the hills which bound
its course, above the village of Linton, and have
been struck with the picturesque grandeur of the
views. You see the river winding its way, like a
crj^stal thread, amidst undulating hills and valleys,
forests, meadows, country-houses, and church stee-
ples. Sometimes you obtain a glimpse of the Black-
adder skirting along a rich and comparatively level
track, and pouring its waters into the larger stream.
The eye dwells upon the varied prospect with
enchantment. As the "Whitadder ascends further
among the Lammermoor hills, it becomes narrower,
and is frequently confined between two deep rocks,
which force the waters into rushing streams, which
again, after flowing short distances, form deep and
wide pools, full to the brim of trout and salmon-
If we have angled the Tweed and its tributaries
with care, and in the genial and loving spirit of
the true angler, we shall experience something like
regret on leaving its banks. It is a noble and heart-
stirring stream ; and it must be dear to the memory
of all who, with rod in hand, have sauntered by its
placid waters. In the language of the poet, let us
bid it farewell : —
'' Sportive young river, we've rambled together
Over the mountain-moors, pui^pled with heather ;
On, where the foxglove and bracken wave over
The blackcock and curlew, the pewit and plover ;
And down the rough rocks with a shout of delight,
Where the wild elfin birches are dancing in white :
And onwards again with a sparkle and splash
To the dark, dusky woods of oak, alder, and ash ;
And down deeper still to the green sunny valley,
With frolic and laughter, with song and with sally.
" Beautiful river ! full many a day
In that green happy valley we've sauntered away.
Watching the flight of the light cloudy shadows,
Listing the low of the kine in the meadows,
The chirp of the grasshopper, hum of the bee,
And sweet loving song of the bird on the tree ;
In a world of our own, without sorrow or sin,
All peaceful around us, all peaceful within ;
While gay pleasant fancies, profuse as the flowers,
And musings of calm meditations were oui's."
I^ow, leaving the Tweed, and turning our steps
towards the north, along the sea from Berwick, the
first stream we meet with is the Eye. It has but a
short run of twelve or fourteen miles. Its waters
are preserved from Ay ton bridge down to the paper
mills, a distance of about two miles and-a-half. The
river is quite free from Ayton to its highest sources ;
and after a summer fresh, the streams in this direc-
tion will yield a fair portion of sport. Ko salmon
or salmon-trout are found higher up than the paper-
mills just mentioned, on account of a wier placed
there, which eifectually obstructs the fish from
ascending higher up the stream. The trout of the
Eye are rich, and of average size. There are here
and there long stretches of deep water, which are
places of shelter for trout, and in which there is
commonly good fishing when there is a curl on them.
Red-coloured palmer flies are killing in the summer
months, but winged ones suit best in the early por-
tions of the spring season. There is often good
sport in that section of the river, from the paper-
mill below Ayton House and the sea, during dry
weather and the prevalence of easterly winds.
There are sometimes good baskets of trout taken
here, especially out of the portions of deep and still
water in this direction. The Eye is a good stream
for worm fishing in fine weather, as its banks are
well covered with brushwood.
Should the angler keep by the coast towards
Edinburgh, he will enter Haddingtonshire. This is
not a first-rate locality for angling, but as it has now
the facility of a railway communication from the
English metropolis, its streams may become more
frequented by anglers than they have hitherto
The principal river is the Tyne^ which springs out
of Mid-Lothian, a few miles west from the county.
In its course it passes the town of Haddington, and
thence flows through the remainder of the Midland
district, and falls into the sea three miles west of
Tenningham House. There are very large trout in
it. Several have been caught weighing six and
eight pounds. There are also a good quantity of
salmon, and many eels of great size.
The other principal streams in Haddingtonshire
are Coalstonej the £iel, Whitewater, the Fastria and
the Peffer. These waters run but a short course to
the sea, but they all have a good stock of trout ;
only they are too small to suit first-rate fly anglers.
The best flies are the palmers, the coachman, and
blue duns, in these several minor waters.
The angling in Mid- Lothian is of little moment.
The principal streams are the Almond, the Leith,
the Forth, and the Esh. The scenery in some parts
of the last river is beautiful in the extreme, and its
streams }deld some good trout, but they are pre-
served in some localities. Salmon are to be found
in considerable numbers in all of them.
Trout are very early in season in the lower parts of
the Esk. I have often witnessed fine dishes of fish, as
red as in the month of May, caught in February or
March, a little above Musselburgh. It is one of
the curious questions connected with the natural
history of the trout, the variation which takes place
in their condition in the different streams of Great
The following song, by Sir Walter Scott, on the
Esk, is worthy of transcription : —
*' Sweet are the paths — Oh, passing sweet !
By Esk's fair streams that run,
O'er airy steep, through copsewoods deep,
Impervious to the sun.
" There the rapt poet's step may rove,
And yield the muse the day ;
There beauty, led by timid love,
May shun the tell-tale ray.
" From that fair dome where suit is paid,
By blast of bugle free.
To Auchindinny's hazel glade,
And haunted "Woodhouselee.
" Who knows not Melville's beechy grove,
And Roslin's rocky glen,
Dalkeith, which all the virtues love,
And classic Hawthornden."
Some of the localities of the Esk are associated
with the names of poets of renown. We have Haiv-
thornden rising precipitously from one of its deep
glens, anciently the residence of the celebrated poet,
William Drummond. It is said that the present
house was built by him. In 1619, Een Jonson paid
him a visit ; and the retailers of gossip and anecdote
relate that Drummond, when he saw the English
poet approaching his residence, ran out to meet him,
" "Welcome, welcome, Eoyal Ben ;"
to which Jonson promptly responded,
'' Thank ye, thank ye, Hawthornden."
As the angler traverses this district from Edin-
burgh up the rirth, he will pass through a very
fertile carse, with a distant view of the Grampians,
from Ben-Lomond to TJam Yar, and a nearer one of
the Ochills, to the ferry opposite Alloa, where there
is a crossing over the Eirth, just at the point where
it changes from a river to an inlet of the sea. It is
evident that the country in this neighbourhood is
part of a vast coal formation, distinguished from
those of England by the absence of the two forma-
tions of mountain and magnesian limestone, between
which the coal fields of England generally occur,
and by the extreme number and magnitude of the
beds and veins of secondary ti^ap, which certainly
have all the appearance of having been forced up
from below by volcanic action. Above Carron and
Alloa, on the banks of the Devon, the clay iron ore
is particularly abundant, and affords employment to
many thousands of industrious and ingenious work-
The Devon is an interesting stream to angle, not
for the quantity of its trout, but for the interesting
and picturesque scenery of its banks. IN'ear to Dol-
lar is the famous Caldron Linn. Here the river is
contracted into a narrow chasm, over which men
accustomed to the feat, have not unfrequently leaped.
It then falls about twenty feet, into a caldron of
rock, passes with great violence into a second and a
third, and then falls about forty feet into the plain
below. Hence we proceed to Avhat is called the
Rumbling Bridge, where the river forces its way
througli a chasm of two hundred yards, in one suc-
cession of cascades, rapids, and caldrons. Por a
great part of this length it is at such a depth, and
the rocks so nearly meet over it, that it is not possi-
ble to see the water, though it announces its presence
by a noise that stuns the ear. One of the caldrons,
haying a noise something like that of a mill, is called
the Devil's Mill, because it is at work on Sundays
as well as on lawful days. On the lower part of the
chasm are two bridges — a new and an old one. A
little above this is the Crook of Devon, where the
river makes a remarkably acute angle ; having pre-
viously run in a glen of the Ochills, of the most
picturesque beauty, in a direction towards the north-
east, it suddenly turns and runs by the base of the
same hills, in a south-westerly course, so that,
though it runs nearly forty miles, the direct distance
from its source to the point where it joins the Forth
is little more than five miles.
THE CLYDE AND ITS FEEDERS.
" Come to the Banks of Clyde,
Where health and joy invite us ;
Spring, now, in virgin pride,
There waiteth to delight us :
Enrobed in green, she smiles s
Each eye enraptured views her ;
A brighter dye o'erspreads her sky,
And every creatiu-e woos her.
Come to the Banks of Clyde,
Where health and joy invite ua ;
Spring, now, in virgin pride,
There waiteth to delight us.
" Mark! how the verdant lea.
With daisies she is strewdng ;
Hark! now, on every tree,
The birds their mates are wooing :
Love wakes the notes that swell their throats,
Love makes their plumage brighter ;
Old Father Clyde, in all his pride,
Ne'er witness'd bosoms lighter.
Mark ! how the verdant lea.
With daisies she is strewing ;
Hark ! how, on eveiy tree.
The birds their mates are wooing." ALEX. RODGBB.
We come now to sketch out another extensive and
interesting angling tour, taking Glasgow as our cen-
tral point of view. But we would recommend all
anglers, who can spare the time and money, should
they be in this city or its neighbourhood, to fish the
river downwards from its early risings, this being
infinitely more pleasing and convenient. The Cale-
donian Eailway will take the rod-fisher above sixty
miles along its banks, and place him at once in the
midst of splendid angling water. To the tourist
from the English border, the Elvanfoot station, on
the same railway, must be his starting point.
The Clyde is the third river in Scotland in point
of magnitude. It takes its rise from the summit of
the mountain range, traversing the South of Scot-
land — the Lowthers, 3,150 feet above the level of
the sea; the Lead hills; Queensberry hills, 2,259
feet ; and the hills connected with Hart-Fell, 2,790
feet. These form a sort of semicircle, out of which
the rivulets spring, which, when united, constitute
the Clyde. The largest of these is called the Daer,
and another, smaller, is termed the Clyde, before
their union. Where this takes place is called the
Meeting of the Waters, or Water-meetings. The
joint streams flow in a northerly direction for several
Supposing the angler makes his way to the sources
of the Clyde, he will have to do this through a wild
and naked country ; and should he be in that section
of the county of Dumfriesshire in which Moffatt is
situated, a walk over the hills, extending to eight or
ten miles, will bring him amidst the several springs
of the main river. He will meet with the Croak
Bum, Powtrail Water, Elvan Water, Evan Water,
and Little Clyde. All these, and other minor rivu-
lets, are comprehended within the range of the chief
stream, when it arrives at the \aLlage or station of
The angling is good nearly the whole of the dis-
tance from where the river becomes fishable to this
spot; and it gradually improves as the waters
increase in breadth and volume. The river presents
one continued succession of finely formed and rip-
pling streams, where there is neither bush, nor tree,
nor obstacle of any kind to impede the rod-fisher's
movements in the prosecution of his art. The trout
are, even in these higher branches of the river, much
larger than could be anticipated in such localities.
Indeed, there have some been caught of gigantic
size ; one bum trout of ten, and another of seven
pounds, come within the range of our own knowledge,
within the last three years, as having been taken out
of these comparatively small and limpid streams.
It may be here observed, that the trout of the Clyde
generally are much larger, and of much richer fla-
vour, than those commonly caught in the Tweed.
There are some of the tributaries of the latter river
which abound with larger and finer tasted trout
than even those of the Clyde ; but what are to be
had in the main channel of the Tweed are neither so
large nor so highly fiavoured as those found in all
the sections of the Clyde. Both rivers differ consi-
derably in their leading features, and both fish, and
the art of fishing, are modified accordingly.
There is a beautiful succession of fishing streams
between Elvanfoot and Abington. In the latter
village, situated a few hundreds of yards from the
banks of the river, there is a good Inn for general
accommodation, and where many anglers during the
season make their head quarters. The fare is good,
and charges moderate ; and the landlord is always
provided with a couple of good fishing-rods, and a
stock of lines and flies, which are at his guests' ser-
vice in case of need. The Glenooner "Water enters
the Clyde near this spot, and contains a great num-
ber of small trout, quantities of which are often
taken with worm in the summer months after rain.
Near to Crawford is a magnificent Eoman encamp-
ment at Oadenica^ or Little Clyde. There was here
a Celtic town, the remains of which have for ages
escaped the researches of the antiquary, hut which
have been recently discovered. The Damnii, a Bri-
tish tribe, that spread from the shores of the western
ocean, and filled the glens and valleys of upper
Clydesdale, had here a strong fortress, and a popu-
lous town. A stranger now surveying the bleak and
dreary locality would never imagine that Eoman
legions and Celtic clans peopled this wilderness with
an active population, where now only a single farm
building, or a solitary shepherd's hut, is to be seen.
The waters of the Clyde continue excellent all the
distance from Abington to Biggar Bridge. There is a
constant alternation of fine streams and long and deep
pools. The trout are often found here of consider-
able size. In traversing this district, the tourist
will pass Duneaton Water, which enters the Clyde
near a village of the same name. This tributary is
itself fed by the Black Burn and Snar Water. There
is good worm fishing in all these smaller streams.
About a mile before coming to Biggar Bridge, the
stream called Culter Water is worthy of notice. It
runs among the hills in a most enchanting manner ;
and its narrow streams and deep gullies are full of
small but excellently flavoured trout. There are few
anglers in the neighbourhood but like to have a
ramble, once in the season at least, up to Culter
When the angler is in this locality, he must pay
a visit, if possible, to the top of Tinto, one of the
finest hills in this part of Scotland. There is a kind
of foot-path to its summit from the village of
Symington. It will require about an hour to arrive
at the heap of stones placed on its crown ; but the
pleasure from it, on a fine day, will amply repay the
toil of the ascent. We enjoy a most delightful pros-
pect. The valley of cultivated country stretching
out to the east and north, cleared of mist, and illu-
mined by the radiance of a declining sun, is a lovely
object for the eye to rest upon. The vale of the
Clyde, like a rose just expanded, lies at our feet,
displaying its woods, its hills, its plains, highly cul-
tivated, and its numerous terraces covered with
hamlets and farm-houses. Amidst the most death-
like stillness, we occasionally hear the barkings of
the shepherd's dog, the flowing of the waters, and
the murmurings of the wind, mingled together, sof-
tened by distance, and which, uniting with all that
lies before us, express a state of existence, cMm,
extensive, and diversified. One cannot describe the
soothing, consolatory, but infinite and sublime ideas,
which overpower the soul at a sight like this, and
which fill it with love for the God of nature, and
confidence in his works. And if, in the interval of
such noises, which succeed each other like waves of
the ocean, the song or whistling of a shepherd is
heard for a moment, the thoughts of man seem to
elevate themselves with such intimations of humani-
ty, and to carry his wants and his troubles to heaven,
and to implore it to relieve them. How many things
does the distant voice of this mountain shepherd
make us feel and think of! Eut such delightful
emotions pass away like a beautiful dream, like a
fine piece of music, like a striking effect of light,
like everything that is good, like everything which
affects us strongly, and must, for that reason,
endure but for an instant.
What is here said of this delightful prospect from
the top of Tinto, may, indeed, be said of twenty
other localities in this interesting land of beautiful
and splendid scenery. I wish that all the anglers of
England could see this diversity of woods, and
plains, and meadows, and torrents, and villages, sur-
rounded by mountains, either green to their very
summits, or peaked with bold and rugged grandeur.
There are some things in nature that one feels some-
what competent to describe but such scenes as these
make one lament the poverty of language ; even the
pencil cannot represent that effect of immensity, nor
express those confused and delicious sounds, nor
make us breathe the pure and bracing air which
renders the spirits so lively and buoyant. We must
send the reader to the spot, and give up the attempt
to paint natural beauties which are inimitable.
There are many excellent stretches of angling
water below Symington, and between it and where
the Douglas Water falls into the main river. The
banks of the river are here quite open, and beautiful
for fly fishing ; and in the deep pools the largest and
best fish are to be obtained. The Douglas tributary
joins the Clyde about four miles above the falls
and should the angler feel disposed to ramble up its
streams, he will find a very beautiful and interesting
series of views and landscapes. A short distance up,
the waters of the rivulet called Paniell Water join
it. Good fishing may be had in both streams, with
worm, after a summer's rain. The trout of the Dou-
glas are rich, and of fair average size. We have seen
six dozen caught here in a couple of hours, chiefly
with the fly. The red and black hackles are killing
flies in the summer months.
The romantic valley of Douglasdale is full of
interest, both to the lover of fine scenery and to
the historian. The hills, and woods, and glens about
it, are of a most interesting kind ; and the country
legends connected with the towers and family resi-
dences on its banks, are full of the marvellous and
On the opposite side of the Clyde, the Medwin
Water falls into it, in which there is a fair stock of
smallish trout. Some parts of the banks of this tri-
butary are very interesting. Those who are fond
of lake fishing, will find the Crane Loch, in the
parish of Dunsyre, lying in a wild moorland locality.
It has both pike and perch of considerable size.
Kot far from this is the White Loch, containing fish
of the same kind. It may here be mentioned, that
in all this range of the Clyde we have invariably
found the minnow to be a great favourite with the
anglers who frequent the river regularly. The
largest and best fish are caught in this way.
It is likewise worthy of remark, that this long
range of the Clyde, that is, from the entrance of the
Douglas Water to the highest sjirings of the main
stream, is much damaged by net-fishing. It is
astonishing, as well as lamentable, to hear of such
quantities of fine trout taken by this murderous and
unmanly method. The angling is also greatly im-
paired from the practice of fly-fishing with double
rods ; one person at each side of the river, with a
line stretched right across, baited with perhaps
forty or fifty artificial flies, suspended from it. This
unfair contrivance has, indeed, been put down in
some districts of the river, but it still prevails to a
shameful extent in other localities.
All unfair modes of fishing tend to destroy the
real pleasure attending the art. This has been the
prevailing sentiment among all the disciples of the
rod and line in England from the earliest times of
her angling literature. More than two centuries
ago, in 1646, we have some verses, of a quaint cast
certainly, written by Llewellyn, in his " Men Mira-
cles," in which the writer rails and satyrises the
encroachments upon the gentlemanly modes of fish-
ing in his own day, in no very courteous and mea-
sured terms : —
"You that fish for dace and roclies,
Carpes and tenches, bonus noches,
Thou was borne betvveene two dishes,
When the Fry day signe was fishes.
Angler's yeares are made and spent,
All in Ember weekes and Lent.
Breake thy rod about thy noddle,
Throw thy worms and flies by the pottle,
Kcepe thy corke to stop thy bottle,
Make straight thy hooke, be not afeared
To shave his beard ;
That in case of started stitches,
Hooke and line may mend thy breaches,
" He that searches pools and dikes,
Halters jackes, and strangles pikes,
Let him know, tho* he think he wise is,
'Tis not a sport, but an assizes.
Fish to hooke, were the case disputed,
Are not tooke, but executed.
Breake thy rod, &:c., &c.
" You whose pastes fox rivers throat
And make Isis pay her groat.
That from May to parch October,
Scarce a minnow can keep sober ;
Be your fish in open thrust.
And your owne red-paste the crust.
Breake thy rod, &c., &c.
" Hookes and lines of larger sizes,
Souch as the tyrant that troules devises.
Fishes nere believe his fable,
What he calls a line is a cable ;
That's a knave of endless rancour,
Who for a hooke doth cast an anchor.
Breake thy rod, &c., &c.
'' But of all men he is the cheater^
Who with small fish takes up the greater ,-
He makes carps without all dudgeon,
Makes a Jonas of a gudgeon ;
Cruell man that stayes on gravcll,
Fish that great with fish doth travel.
Br cake thy rod, &c., (S:c."
AYe assume that tlie angling tourist AYill take a
peep at the celebrated Falls as he passes down the
river. We shall say a word on the subject, and only
a word or two, as these waterfalls are elaborately
described in all the host of handbooks and guides of
The two celebrated cataracts are the Corra Linn
and Stonebyi^es. At Corra Linn, the rocks at both
sides compress the bed of the river so much, that the
waters in some places rush down a chasm of not
more than four or five feet wide. At the fall itself,
the river dashes over a height of nearly one hundred
feet. On the pointed cliff, just opposite to where
the water falls over the steep ascent, stands the ruins
of a Castle. When the torrent is much swollen,
this entire cliff, and likewise the Castle, are sensibly
shaken ; and this is made manifest by water in a
glass being spilled by the concussion of the mighty
stream. A mile further up the river is the fall of
Stonebyres, still more striking and sublime than that
of Corra. The walk between the two is delightful
and interesting in the highest degree. The rocks
rise on each side to the height of full one hundred
feet above the bed of the river, and are well covered
with wood. The channel is of solid rock, here and
there worn into cavities by the force of the agitated
waters. The Clyde is broader here than at Corra,
but the scenery is more diversified by the wild and
turbulent eddies wliich. the foaming billows make,
and wliich impress the imagination with a deep
sense of awfulness and grandeur.
Salmon and salmon-trout are found in the Clyde
below the falls. The fishing is generally pretty
good for some distance below the last fall, and the
country improves very much in appearance. The
banks of the river become better clothed in timber
and brushwood ; and the land for some distance from
its bed presents an aspect of great fertility, and a
consummate skill in husbandry. There are many
delightful landscapes which cannot fail to take hold
of the fancy of the tourist and man of taste.
The Kathan Water enters the Clyde about six
miles below Lanark, and will afford the angler some
sport when its waters are in order, after a summer
freshet. The stream rises out of the higher grounds
on the confines of Dumfriesshire, and it receives
several small feeders, in which fine trout are occa-
sionally taken with worm, even in hot and dry
weather, when the waters are both clear and
The JN'athan forms a junction with the Logan at
Cleuchbrae. The streams of the main water after
this run deep and narrow in many localities ; and
the precipitous sides of the rocks on its banks are
richly decorated with the stately oak, the fragi'ant
birch, and the tapering mountain ash.
The Clyde, below the entrance of the Nathan, and
as far as the palace of Hamilton, presents many
stretches of water of great fishing capabilities.
There are long deep pools in wliich large fish may
always be found ; and even in the clearest weather,
and when the river is very low, if there be a good
breeze from any quarter of the compass, a basket of
fish may be readily taken. As the stream widens,
it becomes less manageable unless by wading, a
thing we do not by any means recommend to the
tourist, except he be well fortified by habit, and a
The tributary" called the Avon enters the chief
river at Hamilton. It has a circuitous run of
about twenty miles, through a somewhat cold and
ungenial country. It has several small feeders in
its higher localities, in all of which there is an abun-
dance of small trout, which are often taken in pro-
fuse abundance of summer rains, and princijDally by
the worm. The entii'c banks of the Avon are
delightfully picturesque and beautiful, and abound
mth those abrupt and grotesque peeps into dells and
groves, in which the pencil of the artist loves to
dwell. As a fishing stream, it is not, on the whole,
of much value. Its waters generally get so low in
the summer months, that little or nothing can be
efiected with the fly ; red worm, in the still pools
and shady avenues of the river, being the only bait
that can be used with any chance of success.
Passing down the Clyde from Hamilton, where its
streams are for some distance strictly preserved, we
come to the beautiful neighbourhood of Bothwell
Castle, so full of historical recollections of ancient
date, and stirring interest. The river is splendidly
adorned with fine wood, which, adds so much real
heauty to all running water scenes, but which is
often an impediment to the free and unshackled
exercise of the fly-rod.
The country in this section of the Clyde is very
interesting to Scotchmen especially, on account of
the poetical associations connected with it, and like-
wise as being one of the chief battle-fields where the
Covenanters fought and sufiered for the sake of reli-
gious freedom. There was a great slaughter made
of them at Both well Bridge, in the early part of the
sixteenth century ; and there is scarcely a remote
dell or sequestered rock, for many miles on each side
of the river, that is not hallowed as a traditionary
hiding-place of some of these truly heroic and cruelly
persecuted men. This locality is likewise considered
as the cradle of Scottish poetry and song. " Oh !
Both well bank, thou bloomest fair," carries mth it
both the feelings of antiquity and admiration in the
minds of the country-people in the neighbourhood.
And a story is told by historians of credit, connected
with this popular air, which, though it may appear
to ordinary readers as partaking of the marvellous,
is, to our minds, perfectly natural, and, we have no
doubt, perfectly true. The fact is derived fi'om a
work published at Amsterdam, in Holland, in the
year 1605. It runs thus : — A Scotch gentleman,
travelling through Palestine, recognised a female at
a door lulling a child to sleep, to the tune of £oth-
well Bank. Under the influence of surprise and
delight, he accosted the female. She said she was
a native of Gotland, had wandered thither, manied
a Turk of rank, but still took especial delight in
singing the songs of her native land. She intro-
duced the traveller to her husband, whose influence
proved of service to the traveller^ who was ever
after deeply impressed with the value and imj)or-
tant influence which national melodies have over the
The fisher will find many beautiful streams be-
tween Both well Castle and the tide-way, at the con-
fines of the City of Glasgow. This section of the
water is, however, a good deal fished, at all seasons
of the year, both by fair and imfair means.
SOUTH WESTERN DIVISION,
Embracing the Counties of
Renfeew", Ayr, Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, and Wigton.
"We have taken the angler, in the preceding part,
over an interesting section of the country, and placed
him on the banks of some of the very finest
streams that any one can visit. We now come to
another piscatory tour, along the South-Western
part of Scotland, taking Glasgow as our centre of
observation and departure, The angler has a ready
and commodious means of transit to many of the
rivers in this district, by the South-Western Eail-
way to Carlisle. This skirts along the low and fer-
tile parts of the country in the form of a half- circle,
and joins the great trunk of the Caledonian Railway
near to Gretna Green.
The various rivers and streams in this direction
are not so large, nor so highly celebrated in angling
history and exploits, as the Tweed and the Clyde,
with their tributary waters, but they are, on the
whole, very pleasant rod-fishing localities, and calcn-
lated to afford the tourist a series of agreeable river-
We shall commence our notice of these fishing
waters from the English border, for the especial
guidance of tourists from the south part of the
island, who may make Carlisle the point of their
departure. Within a few miles to the north of the
city, there are several streams which fall into the
Solway Pirth, in which good trout fishing is to be
obtained. And first, we have the river Esk, which
has a long and winding run through the South-
Eastern section of Dumfriesshire, and falls into the
Solway about four miles from Carlisle. This stream
abounds with both salmon and salmon-trout, as well
as with the common bum trout. The coach-road to
Hawick leads close by the sides of the river as far
as the town of Langholm, and this is a very excel-
lent spot to go to at first, in order to angle the river
down to the sea. It has a run, however, of full
twenty miles above this town, but its waters are
small from its rise downwards till they receive an
accession from the Black Esk, which enters it at
Panlaw Hill. Capital sport may be had in both
these higher waters, especially with worm, or, if
after a flood, with minnow. The fishers in Lang-
holm and its neighbourhood often obtain large bas-
kets of ^0 fish during the summer months. The
prevailing colours of the flies, when here used, are
the light brown A\dnged ones, and the red and black
palmers. But, indeed, the trout often take here so
greedily, that no great nicety in the choice of flies
need be observed.
The Eimis Water joins the Esk at Langholm, and
has a run of full ten miles. It is full of small trout,
but not to be fished with fly. The Tarras is another
feeder, which enters the main river a few miles
below, and it partakes of much of the same character
as the Earns.
The Liddal, which springs from the English bor-
der, and which flows a few miles within the boun-
dary line of Scotland, is a good fishing stream, when
its waters are not too fine and low. It has long
been celebrated from the beautiful lines ascribed to
it, and other neighbouring rivers, by Dr. Armstrong,
in his poem, ^' On the Means of Preserving Health,"
who, in his younger days, was a keen angler on the
banks of the Liddal.
" But if the breathless chase o'er hill and dale
Exceed your strength, a sport of less fatigue,
Not less delightful, the prolific stream
Affords. The crystal rivulet that o'er
A stony channel rolls its rapid surge,
Swarms with the silver fry. Such through the bounds
Of pastoral Stafford, runs the brawling Trent ;
Such Eden, sprung from Cambrian mountains ; such
The Esk, o'erhung with woods ; and such the stream.
On whose arcadian hanks I first drew air.
Liddal till now, except in Doric lays,
Tuned to her murmurs by her love-sick swains.
Unknown to song : though not a purer stream
Through wood more flowery, more romantic groves,
EoUs towards the western main. Hail sacred flood !
May still thy hospitable swains he blest
In rural innocence ; thy mountains still
Teem with the fleecy race ; thy tuneful woods
For ever flourish ; and thy vales look gay
With planted meadows, and the golden grain.
Oft with thy blooming sons, when life was new,
Sportive and petulant, and charmed with toys,
In thy transparent eddies have I laved ;
Oft traced with patient steps the fairy banks
With the well-imitated fly to hook
The eager trout, and with the slender line
And yielding rod, solicit to the shore,
The struggling panting prey ; while vernal clouds
And tepid gales obscured the ruffled pool.
And from the deeps call'd forth the wanton swarm.
There are few rivers of the same limited range,
whose banks are more picturesque, and streams
more agreeable to fish, than those of the Esk. Its
entire bed, except near or about the tide- way, is
comparatively narrow, which circumstance gives a
fulness and depth to its waters, favourable, even in
dry and parched seasons, to the rod-fisher's sport.
The winding and circuitous route of the river adds,
likewise, to its interest ; as we have ever and anon
presented to us some ^e view, or agreeable com-
bination of brushwood, and running water — thiags
which have a remarkably plesant effect upon those
who have an eye for beauties of rural scenery.
The next stream, towards the north^ is the Sark,
which runs into the Firth, but has no great range.
In particular states of its waters, in the summer
months, a good dish of smallish trout may be readily
obtained. The Kirtle Water, which enters the
same estuary a little lower down towards the sea, is
a longer and more fishable stream. I haye found
the palmer flies, both red and black, very successful
here in the summer season after the rain. The Kirtle
trout run rather small, and not of fii'st-rate quality.
It may be observed here, that the Caledonian
Eailway runs through the South^Eastem portion of
Dumfriesshire to five or six miles north of Moffat,
and nearly parallel with the river Amian and some
of its tributaries. This renders the rivers in this
section of Scotland easily and cheaply accessible.
The Annan rises out of the same range of hills from
which the Tweed and the Clyde derive their first
feeders, and it has a run, including its numerous
windings, of about forty miles. It flows by the
small town of Moffat, now yearly visited by numer-
ous persons from all parts of the United Kingdom
for the medical springs in its immediate vicinity.
But the Annan is not worth much as an angling
stream till it comes to what is called the Meeting of
the Waters, that is, the junction of the Moffat Water
and the Avon with the main river, about two miles
below Moffat. The higher portions of it are exceed-
ingly beautiful in the way of mountain scenery, but
the fish are both scarce and small in these localities.
The angler is, however, earnestly solicited by the
poet to ascend these higher waters, and to visit the
BeviVs Beef Tub.
'' Away to the hollow, among Moffat hills
Nam'd the BeviVs Beef Tub, wherein three little rills,
The Tweed, Clyde, and Annan, pure rippling arise
'Mong bold mountain tops, that brave cold growling skies.
Here nature — ^wild nature — reigns glorious and free,
Then come here in summer, and angle with me.
" It is life to the soul to climb these steep knolls,
To watch the gay trout, as he sports in the pools ;
The scene is so rich, and the landscapes so fair,
That the mind feels content to dwell always there,
To scan the bright shadows on the grey mountain's brow.
Is a pleasure that dullness itself must allow.
" There's strength in the mountain, and health in the vale,
There's glow in the zephyr, and glee in the gale ;
A buoyant hilarity rests on the mind,
And lightness and joy at each step are combin'd.
So come, anglers, come, rare sports here invite you.
Sure pleasures so pure can't fail to delight you."
Moffat is tlie best starting point to fish the Annan
and its chief feeders. The Annan is not a good trout
stream. It has a run of several miles, and its
streams look very imposing to the eye, but there are
very few trout in them. What there are, however,
are often tolerably large. The Moifat Water comes
from another direction. It flows down the narrow
valley between St. Mary's Loch and Moifat, and has
a connexion with Loch Skene by means of the Grey
Mare's Tail bum. There is good trouting in the
Moffatt Water, but I have never seen very large
ones taken out of it. It is a pleasant stream to
angle with a single-handed rod ; and its banks and
windings among the high hills have a solemnising
and contemplative effect upon the mind.
If the angler ascends the stream till he comes to
the rivulet that leads up to the Grey Mare's Tail, he
will be much interested. This fflen forms an
immense cliff between two high mountainous ridges,
running from east to west. The descent from either
side is steep and rugged in the extreme. The val-
ley is very narrow through which the Moffat makes
its way, with many abrupt windings. The river is
stretched out like a silver thread as we cast an eye
down the vale from any of the surrounding hills.
For a considerable distance, the vale does not average
more than two or tliree hundred yards in width ;
and the whole scene often recalls to the mind the
vale of Tempo, so graphically described by ^lian.
There are here, however, no smoking altars of
incense — no thickets overshadowing the sides of the
stream, to screen the weary traveller from the rays
of the sun — no convivial parties enjoying themselves
in sequestered groves — no musical birds warbling
among the green branches of the ivy-mantled trees,
described in the celebrated defile between Ossa and
Olympus ; but, notwithstanding all this, the glen is
a scene which, for simplicity and grandeur, cannot
easily be rivalled, and the tourist who has once
passed through it will not soon forget it. Sir
Walter Scott thus dashes off some of its leading
features : —
" Through the rude barriers of the lake.
Away the hurrying waters break,
Faster and whiter, dash and curl,
Till down the dark abyss they hurl ;
Then issuing forth, one foaming wave,
And wheeling round the giant's grave,
White as the snowy charger's tail,
Drive down the pass of Moffat dale."
Good fishing in the Annan commences about
AYamphray, nearly five miles below Moffat. The
streams here become broader, deeper, and abound
more with places of shelter for good trout and salmon.
There is a succession of fine streams and stretches of
still water from this village to the neighbourhood of
Lockerby. This small town is a good station for a day
or two's sport. It has a good inn, at moderate prices :
and the river is about a mile and-a-half from it. The
scenery in the vicinity is very prepossessing, though
flat, and rather of a swampy character. The trout
of the Annan are above the average size, and of good
quality. Some, indeed, have been caught of very
great weight, chiefly by means of the minnow.
Before the river reaches Lockerby, it receives the
waters of several tributaries, such as the Wamphray,
the Drife, and the Kinnel, in all of which there is
good trout fishing at particular seasons of the year,
chiefly, however, with woim. In the vicinity of the
Kinnel, lie the Lochmaben lochs, which are much
frequented by anglers. They are nine in number,
and the longest one, called Castle Loch, contains
fifteen distinct species of fish that may be angled for.
There are trout in all these still waters of twelve
and fourteen pounds weight, and a good number
which run from two to five pounds. There is a
club of Dumfries anglers who fish for the vendace, in
Castle Loch, yearly, and prizes are awarded to the
most successful competitors. Large and somewhat
gaudy flies are used ; and trolling with a small trout
is a very deadly bait, on particular occasions, when
wind and weather are favourable. There are consi-
derable quantities of bottom fish in these lochs, such
as bream, roach, chub, perch, and pike ; some of the
latter kind of fish having been taken upwards of
thirty pounds weight.
The vendace just mentioned is a somewlxat singu-
lar fish, and is described as a species of fish known
nowhere else, and which, from its peculiar delicacy,
as an article for the table, is highly prized. It has
hitherto defied all attempts at being transported to
other waters. ^' It is a beautiful fish, from four to
six inches in length, and of a bright silvery appear-
ance, with a slight tendency to a light blue along
the back and sides. Upon the top of the head there
is a very distinct shape of a heart, covered with a
transparent substance of a brownish colour, resem-
bling a thin lamina of mica slate, through which
the brain is visible. J^othing to the naked eye
is found in the stomach, though a late inquirer
has said that their food consists of incredibly mi-
nute eutromostracea. Overlooking the fact that
the vendace dies the moment it is touched, or
brought to the air, and has hitherto defied trans-
portation, the common people speak of its having
been brought by one of the Jameses, from Yendois,
The angling continues good from Lockerby to
the town of Annan. The trout are commonly larger
the nearer you approach the sea. I have seen
almost all kinds of flies used on the Annan, and
nearly with equal success ; and my impression is.
that a trout-fisher need not be very fastidious in
making a selection from his stock.
The vale of Annan, taken altogether, forms a most
interesting part of Scotland. Prom the rising ground
on the east of Totherwold heights, there is a splendid
prospect. Beneath lies '^Margery of the mossy
beds,^' and the ancient castle of the Bruce, moulder-
ing among the stately trees. On the margin of the
glassy lake, whose silvery waves, rippling before
the southern breeze, murmur in the ear many tales
of feudal times, connected with the grey ruins which
still appear in solitary grandeur, the entire valley,
stretching from north to south, where it terminates
at the base of the frowning mountains between it and
the wilds of Tweedsmuir, famishes a diversity of
scenery so enchanting, that few localities in the
South of Scotland can equal it. The wilder parts of
the country, on either side, are full of covenanting
The stream called the Locher lies between the
Annan and the Mth, and contains good sized trout,
in tolerable abundance. It has a range of about
fifteen miles fair fishable water. In some spots its
banks are pleasant and picturesque ; and an angler
who has time at his command may spend a day here
The JS'ith is the great river in this section of Scot-
land. It springs from near "New Cumnock, in Ayr-
shire, where it receives the tributary called Afton
Water, which is full of small but good flavoured
trout. These can only be had with worm in any
considerable quantities. The waters of the stream
issue from among the dusky mountains in the south.
The scenery on their banks is a constant theme of
exultation among the inhabitants of the neighbour-
The Nith is not, by many anglers, considered a first-
rate water for salmon and trout fishing ; yet it is well
entitled to a visit by any one who has not previously
seen the country on and around its banks. A tour
along its waters is highly interesting in the summer
months. It has a great range, amounting to above a
hundred miles, taking all its windings and doublings
into account, and presents to the eye an agreeable
diversity of landscapes, the majority of which are,
however, of the bleak and rugged kind. The moun-
tains of Nithdale are exceedingly interesting. From
the tops of their lofty heights an extensive and
magnificent view is obtained of the greater part of
the west and south of Scotland. On the south we
recognise the range of the Galloway hills ; on the
west, the desolate solitudes of Kyle ; on the east,
the heathy mountains of Crawford Moor; and on
the north, the majestic Tinto, waving afar his misty
mantle, and revealing through the opening of its
folds the rudy and fiery scars which the angry ele-
ments have made on his shaggy and time-worn sides.
The dark blue mountain of Crieffil is likewise a con-
spicuous object in the upper part of Mthdale. It
commands an extensive view over the Solway Firth,
and a large tract of land lying towards the west.
The scenery in the immediate locality of the moun-
tain is of tlie ricliest kind. The Mils around are not
clad with, heather, but covered with deep verdure.
The history of bygone times, and religious asso-
ciations, impart a lively interest to our rambles in
these districts. The solitudes of the upper parts of
the river were favourite places of refuge for the
Covenanters in the days of persecution and bigotry.
The imagination is deeply affected in visiting such
localities. One can scarcely conceive retirements
more sterile and drear^^ than those which lie towards
the north-west of Sanquhar. From the summit of
the loftiest hills we discover nothing but an inter-
minable range of rugged mountains, covered with
brown heath. Yast tracts of dark moorland stretch
for miles in the distance, and here and there the eye
and the heart are relieved by the blue smoke curling
from the chimneys of the lonely shepherds' huts and
cottages. "When we connect the scenes around us
with the struggles for religious and civil freedom,
made in these dreary solitudes, by a noble -hearted
set of men, there is life and interest imparted to every
spot and rood of ground we travel over.
ISTor is this at all surprising. The fate of these
high-minded men touches some of the deepest sym-
pathies of the human soul. They have long passed
into another state, and are no more cognizable to
human eye ; but their memories will prove as
enduring as the rocks and glens in which they took
refuge. The shadows which fleeted over the moun-
tain's brow, and on which they were wont to gaze ;
the deep wilderness around them, speaking more
loudly to the inward man than a thousand tongues,
must have greatly heightened their devotions — must
have impressed them with a vague sense of infinity
— of the littleness of human life — and of the gran-
deur of a divine existence and eternity.
" At the risk of their lives with their flocks they would meet,
In storm and in tempest, in rain and in sleet ;
Where the mists in the moor-glens lay darkest — 'twas there.
In the thick cloud concealed, they assembled for prayer.
" In cities the wells of salvation were sealed,
More brightly to burst in the moor and the field ;
And the spirit which fled from the dwellings of men,
Like the manna-cloud rained round the cup in the glen."
In fishing the Mth from its highest feeders down
to Sanquhar, we found brown-coloured flies very
successful ; but still, even here, no general rules can
be laid down on this subject. As an instance of this,
while we were one day fishing the stream, and
obtaining fair sport with coloured fly, we saw two
country lads, one using a black fly, and the other a
very light grey one, both appearing as successful as
The Crawick Water enters the JN'ith near to San-
quhar, and having had a run up its banks, we were
delighted with them. It is a pastoral stream, which
i/Ciivc/o xfo j.xK}\j v/ix vxxK^ iL/v/i.t.ic:io xjs. j-jaiiaxis^oxiixt^, tiiiu.
wends its course in a south-western direction until it
faUs into the Mth at the place just mentioned. The
whole range of the Crawick exhibits scenes of sur-
passing interest and beauty. The mountains by its
side, covered with a lively verdure, present the
appearance of newly mown meadows ; while again,
some of tlie hills jut out so abruptly from their base
that a person can scarcely walk steadily along the
velvet slopes. The trout in the stream are but
small, but firm and well tasted. A few dozens are
soon taken when the waters are in good trim.
The angler who travels through those mountain
passes must beware of the mists which suddenly
arise on these heights, and which render travelling
both disagreeable, and sometimes dangerous. These
mists give little warning of their approach. Some-
times, instead of descending in a body, like a large
snowy cloud, spreading itself along the ridges and
down the slopes of the mountains, they come edge-
ways, trailing along, and like a thin white veil,
extending from the clouds to the earth. Then it is
that the pedestrian must move with care and cir-
The Kello "Water enters the JN'ith a little above
Sanquhar, and the Minnick below it. They are
both good for small trout, but in the summer
months are often extremely low, and this renders
sport somewhat precarious. Sanquhar itself is a
burgh which lays claim to considerable antiquity.
The scenery in its neighbourhood is interesting, and
in soma sunfi; ra.a2Tiificcnt. There is a. ■nfl»tor?-l
sweetness about some of its localities, which deeply
rivets the attention of a stranger. The clear and
silvery streams, the Minnick and Cramock, present
a picture not always to be met with. The town is
noted for many daring and bloody scenes perpetrated
in former days of religious and political contention
Speaking generally, we may say with justice, that
there are few rural scenes, upon a narrow scale, which
present a more lovely and agreeable spectacle than
those which are to be found in the several localities of
these, upper waters of the !N'ith. In many places the
uncultivated moorlands are flanked by hills whose
summits rise like lofty colonnades to the clouds, and
remind us of the sublime Scriptural expression,
'^the pillars of heaven." Here and there we see a
beautiful mountain, clad in velvet green, and tipped
with its warder cairn ; while at its base we recognise
some little and solitary hamlet, sending up its smoke,
and skirted with a few acres of well cultivated land.
In the stillness of a summer's evening, when the
mind is in a contemplative mood, one surveys such
scenes as these with a feeling of enchantment one is
loath to dissipate.
The Euchan stream enters the JSTith from an
opposite side to that of the feeders just mentioned,
but still in the locality of Sanquhar. This is a
beautiful stream. Its banks are ornamented with
wood to their very edges. The bed of the river, for
the most part, is composed of blue whinstone, and
is worn by the action of the water as smooth as a
polished pebble. The stream has a run of only
about ten miles.
The angling in the ISTith from Sanquhar to where
the Enterkin, or Ken Water, enters it, about seven
miles below the town, is excellent. Some of the
finest streams of the main river are to be met with
in this locality. Most of the streams are of that
precise conformation which gives pleasure to the
angler's eye, and assures him of sport.
The Ken is an interesting and pastoral stream, of
no great length, and fed by several small nils from
the neighbouring mountains, whose bold and majes-
tic head-lands tower to a stupendous height. The
angler, when on the Nith, should make a point
of ascending the Ken. Pew localities in Scotland
are more full of interest than those on its banks.
There are, indeed, some spots which present such
harsh and melancholy aspects as to produce an abso-
lute depression of spirits; but this circumstance
rather adds to than detracts from the interest we
feel in such rugged wildernesses.
The stream abounds in small fish. We have
known six dozen taken out of it, with worm, in
three or four hours, after a freshet in July.
The Scar joins the Nith a considerable distance
below the Ken, on the opposite side of the main
river. The Scar has a range of full twenty-five
miles, and is a good stream for rod-fishing. The
trout run small, though we once saw a fish of four
pounds and-a-half taken out of the stream near its
entrance to the !N'ith. Eut this was considered a
great novelty. There is an immense rock in the
valley of the Scar of nearly a thousand feet perpen-
dicular. This is one of those bold features of nature
which inspire the beholder with the mingled feelings
of delight and awe. A multitude of legends are
connected with the place, and are handed down from
generation to generation in the minds of the rustic
inhabitants of the neighbourhood. In many places
the moimtains on the north side of the river are
lofty and rugged, and present immeasurable tracts of
brown heath, and large spaces occupied with grey
rocks, and scattered stones, thrown about in the
most fantastic and chaotic confasion. There are
deep glens and ravines, covered over with short
stumpy brushwood, which renders walking both
treacherous and dangerous. We stammer, however,
here and there, upon spots of great beauty, which
surprise and delight us for the toil of our wander-
ings. We meet with the clear and silvery brook at
every turn of the landscape, on spots of the margin
of which grows the palmy willow, drooping over
the murmuring waters, as they leave the upland
wastes to visit the distant ocean, and be absorbed in
The Cluden Water is a favourite locality in the
estimation of the Dumfries anglers. It has a run of
about twenty miles, and is well stocked with trout,
and likewise with salmon-trout, when the water is
in a fit state for this particular fish. There are
some small feeders of the Cluden in which there is
an abundance of trout, though but of inferior size.
The Cairn Water is also a good trouting stream, and
will afford a fair day's sport to the tourist. Worm
fishing, as well as the minnow, when the waters are
suitable after summer rains, are very successful
modes of sport in these tributaries of the Mth.
On tlie kinds of flies commonly used on the Mth,
and its dependent streams, we have little in the way
of advice to give. We have hercj as elsewhere,
found nearly all colours, and combinations of colours,
highly extolled, and successfully used. Perhaps, if
a fair estimate could he made, it would be found to
recommend flies of a moderate size, lightish and
brownish wings for the summer months, and grey
and mottled vrings, with red body, for the entire
spring season. Eut to dogmatise on the matter
is little better than sheer folly. We have seen
fine baskets of fish taken by country lads, in the
higher sections of these waters, with the queerest
looking things, in the shape of flies, that ever were
seen. JS'othing in the history of Entomology could
approach them; and yet, strange to say, the fish
seemed to take them most greedily.
Eelow the town of Dumfries, this fine river of
N'ith is navigable for small vessels. Its picturesque
scenes and landscapes terminate at this spot ; so
likewise terminate its rod-fishing capabilities as a
pastoral stream. From the town to the sea, the
country is low, ill-looking, swampy, and nearly des-
titute of every object on which the mind rests with
pleasure and satisfaction.
When the angler visits Dumfries, he must pay
his tribute of respect to the memorials which are
here, of the greatest of Scotland's bards — Eobert
Bums. He resided in this town for the last five
years of his life. The house in which he took up
his abode, is situated in what is now called Bums
Street, and is the same dwelling in whicli Mrs.
Eums lived till her death, in 1834. In the ceme-
tery connected with the Church of St. Michael, is the
Mausoleum erected to his memory. It was exe-
cuted by an Italian artist ; and represents the Poet
at the plough, and his attendant genius throwing
her '^inspiring mantle" over him. Thousands of
tourists visit the spot every year. His fame is ever
fresh on the memories of men.
How intense, elevating, and refined, are the feel-
ings connected with a visit to the hallowed spot of
departed genius ! How deeply is such a rush of
thoughts — such a commotion of internal sympathies,
calculated to strike the mind with surprise and ad-
miration, at the wonderful mechanism, if we may so
term it, of our spiritual frame. There seem to be
two conspicuous elements in this veneration for de-
parted worth — ^identity, and memory. As in the
case now before us, we believe Eobert Burns to be
the same identical personage who sojourned, sang,
died, and was buried here ; and we have perpetually
before us, in our memories, what he said, and
thought, and did. What a collection of living-
wonders is here ! The mind is pinned down to
the physical structure, as sternly as if it were itself
a thing of flesh. It never wanders from its own
habitation ; — ^never passes the threshold of its own
dwelling. It never fancies itself really severed from
the beloved frame which it clothes, and feeds, and
cherishes with such unwearied solicitude. Though
there is nothing apparently in the human structure
to imprison or confine this spiritual force — though
there is no casket in which we can suppose it to he
locked up securely as a piece of muslin, yet for years
in succession the mind remains the same. That this
should he the case, as it really is, would have been
inexplicable to us, had we not known it to be a fact,
as if some had proposed to shut up a sunbeam in an
apothecary's vial, or to carry about a quantity of
electricity in a carpet bag. The most marvellous
circumstance in connection Avith this view of the
mind, is, that the subtle fluid and inanimate thing
which we call spirit, is at the same time more dis-
tinctive, more personal, more durable, than if it were-
carved out of marble, or cast in metal. Look at the
faculty of memory ! It is this faculty which con-
nects us with the past, by stretching out our own
consciousness over a long series of years. It is this
faculty which binds the separate events of our exist-
ence, together, and assures the grave old gentleman
of fourscore that he is identical with the rampant
boy who used to play at leap-frog. In spite of the
lapse of years, the whole spectacle may now pro-
bably be reproduced in the mind of the individual.
The very process of remembering, implies that the
Agent which does so, is identical with that which,
membered. True, many circumstances in the life of
man appear to grow dim — many may seem to sink
into positive oblivion ; but we cannot avoid the con-
clusion, that if the chain of our consciousness
stretching across an expanse of years, distinctly
connects the child with the man, it mnst be complete
in every link, though many may appear to be hidden
. from the sight.
These are but a few — very few, of the marvels
connected with man's nature. His structure seems
to incarnate positive contradictions. His frame is a
reservoir of different and conflicting forces. It is a
mighty apparatus which knows no rest, yet exhibits
no turmoil or confusion. We sit by the side of a
human being, and all is calm, and seemingly motion-
less. It is just as if you listened at the door of an
immense mill, where hundreds of processes were in
progress, and yet could not catch one sound, or dis-
cern one symptom, of internal activity. That the
man himself who is the scene of all these numerous
operations should yet be almost unconscious of their
existence, is one of the most strikiu;^ and merciful
paradoxes which could have been devised. And
think, too, how strange that these vital movements
should be kept up year after year, though the primi-
tive impulse must long ago have been exhausted by
the resistance which it continually encounters.
Man being the nearest approach to a purely perpet-
ual motion, since, spite of that resistance, his heart
beats in his breast for seventy or eighty years, and
at the rate of some fort^ millions of strokes per an-
num, without a single hour's holiday. Wake in the
night, and still you find the trusty servant at work,
beat, beat, beating. Whilst the mind seems to slum-
ber, and the limbs to recruit, still the noble engine
proceeds with its steady strokes. Through youth
and age — ^tlirough sickness and health — through
growth and decay — through all the vicissitudes of
existence, the gallant organ faithfully j)rosecutes its
task, and never for a moment ceases to beat. But
above all, think of the mysterious principle for which
this bodily mansion was built ; which yet no search
has ever been able to discover in any of its apart-
ments — which no eye has seen, no hand touched, no
science probed ; which enters it we know not how,
which forsakes it we know not why ; but which,
when it departs, leaves the splendid house it inhabi-
ted a hopeless ruin, as if a soverign has scarcely
died ere the palace he occupied sank into a heap of
sand ! Man is a compendium of marvels ; a perfect
mass of mysteries !
Prom Dumfries the angling tourist, if desirous of
prosecuting his rambles to the west, through what
is commonly called Gallowayshire, will find no more
assistance from railway conveyances. There are two
routes for angling the various interesting streams in
this part of Scotland ; the one by taking the mail
coach road, which keeps by the sea coast, right
through to Portpatrick, a distance of eighty-four
miles, and fishing the rivers as he crosses them at
right angles as they flow into the Solway Firth ; or,
he may strike right up the country, where he will
meet with the same rivers in their higher localities.
We have gone both routes more than once; and though
both are highly interesting, we give the preference
to the upland route, on account of the picturesque-
ness of the entire range of countiy. There are, un-
questionably, many delightful sea views on the mail
coach line of road. The waters of the Solway, the
Isle of Man, the distant mountains of Cumberland,
and, in clear weather, those of Ireland, afford con-
stant objects of attention and pleasure to the travel-
ler. Eut we confess we have, rod in hand, an un-
quenchable thirst for wild and unbeaten tracts ;
and if the angler has as much time to throw away,
let him leave all the roads and towns on the coast,
and traverse the mountainous part of the country as
the ^ ' crow flies . ' ' Time to throw away, did I say. No I
not thrown away, but most usefully and profitably
employed. The saunterings of the angler over such
lands as we have first noticed is not idleness.
Thoughtless persons are apt to imagine that ram-
bling about in fields, by the banks of rivers, listen-
ing to the cheerful song of the birds, smelling the
sweetness of the flowers, and delighting in the
freshness of the mountain breeze, is idleness, because
there is no immediate mercenary profit. They for-
get that all the delights of nature — the beauties of
the meadows and the forests, the balmy breath of
the air wafted over the wild luxuries of the earth,
the waving of the trees, the murmurings of the
brooks, the shelter from the mid-day sim, the lowing
of the cattle on a thousand hills, the peaceful labours
of the peasant, surrounded by all these gratifications
— they forget that these, when pouring their riches
upon the mind of a solitary man, upon the soil pre-
pared by the softening hand of self-examination,
prove the brightest volume, the sagest lessons of ex-
perience — the noblest picture of tlie Divine nature —
the most powerful incentive to industry, that can be
communicated in our brief career while here upon
earth. In reading the writings of others we flag,
we slumber, and we often desist from instruction to
which we are not wakeful enough to hearken — ^hear-
ing even the most elegant admonitions, we are not en-
thusiastic. Not so the admonitions which the angler
sees, and hears, nay, often feels, in his wanderings.
These never pall upon ^^ the stomach of his sense."
They are fresh and invested with new beauty every
visit. They penetrate into his bosom, and mingle
in the actions and feelings of his daily life. Every
thing he has to do may be doubled — ^nay, rendered
tenfold, by the vigour and newness of spirit com-
municated by his love of the ^^ gentle craft." But
whatever route the angler may find it convenient to
take, we shall give a sketch of the rivers in such a
manner as wiU, it is hoped, afford him all the infor-
mation he requires.
Leaving the iNith and its tributaries, let the ang-
ler dash on to the Urr, in Kirkcudbrightshire, dis-
tance about fourteen miles. This is an excellent
angling stream. It springs out of Loch Urr, on the
confines of Dumfriesshire, and has a run of more
than thirty miles, taking its numerous windings in-
to calculation. It has but few feeders, and those are
of little or no moment. Eor several miles from the
loch out of which it springs, its streams are small,
and, in dry seasons, not well adapted for fly-fishing.
Eut they deepen and widen as they proceed on their
way to the ocean ; and from the neighbourliood of
Kirkbrideto the parish of TJrr, there is a succession
of good angling streams, in which fair sized trout
are to be had. And indeed, the river is excellent
for the rod, all the way down to the sea. There are
a great many neat gentlemen's residences on its
banks, and as beautiful sketches of scenery as can
meet the eye in any other parts of Scotland. There
is a large Eoman Camp, and in good preservation, at
a place called the Moat of TJrr, which is well enti-
tled to the notice of the antiquary. I have known
minnow very successfully used in the TJrr, during
the summer months. The largest trout ever taken
in it, have been captured by this seductive bait.
Eed and black hackle flies seem to be favourites here.
The river Dee takes precedence of all others in
this county. It springs out of Loch Dee, and has
a run of above forty miles. It is a capital water for
common trout, salmon, salmon-trout, bull-trout ;
and there are likewise a few pike and perch in it.
The salmon fisheries axe of considerable value ; and
large quantities of this species of fish are taken
throughout the season, and transported to London,
and to the markets of neigbouring provincial towns.
The river enters the sea a little below the town of
Tarf Water enters the Dee a short distance above
the town, and has a range of about ten or twelve
miles. It contains a good stock of fish, and is much
frequented by anglers in the vicinity. The vale
through which it flows is very interesting. The Dee,
from where this stream enters it, and to where it is
joined by the river Ken, embraces a choice collec-
tion of fishing waters, all richly stocked with the
various kinds of fish for which it is celebrated. This
range of country on the Dee goes by the name of
the Glen Kens^ and contains many rural scenes and
landscapes of singular beauty. Alexander Montgo-
mery, the Scottish poet, who flourished in the reign
of James YI., was bom in this neighbourhood. In
his well-known work, ^' The Cherry and the Slae,"
he describes some scenes on the river near to Tong-
land-hill, where it falls over some rocky eminences,
in the following lines : —
" But, as I lukit me alane,
I saw a river rin
Out ower a steeple rock o' stane,
Syne lichtit in a linn ;
With tumbling and rumbling
Amang the rookies round ;
De vailing and falling
Into a pit profound."
In the ancient history of Tongland Abbey, it is
mentioned that the people enjoyed great sport with
the salmon, which, in dry summers, could not get
beyond this cataract. "Here it is,'' says the his-
torian, " that the Yiscount of Kenmure, as bailie of
the Abbey of Tongland, hath privilege of a Bailie-
day, prohibiting all persons from fishing in that
time, so that, on a day appointed, there is excellent
pastime ; the Yiscount and his friends, with a mul-
titude of other persons, coming thither to the fishing
of the salmon, which, being enclosed among the
rocks, men go in and catch them in great abundance
with their hands, spears, yea, with their very dogs^
The stretch of water from where the Dee is joined
by the river Ken, in the direction of the sea, abounds
with fine fishing streams, and no angler need want
sport who knows his trade, and will devote himself
to it. Large baskets of trout can be had in almost
all states of the water ; and I have found here, what
I have often witnessed elsewhere, that strong east
and north winds, though piercingly cold, when they
fall fairly upon portions of still and deep water, are
very favourable to the feeding of fish. I have seen
them quite ravenous under such circumstances.
In this section of the Dee, immense quantities of
grilse are occasionally taken. In 1836, there was
caught, at one draught, three hundred and fifteen !
It is chiefly in this section of the water that the
large bull-trout are found, sometimes weighing up-
wards of twenty pounds. It is in these parts where
both the Ken and the Dee flow through Loch-Kcn,
that perch and pike are to be found in any quanti-
ties. It was here that one of the latter species of
fish was taken with fly, of the astonishing weight
of seventy -two pounds.
The Ken has a run of about twenty miles before
it falls into the Dee ; and in its higher portions is a
very pleasant stream for trouting. Should the
angler make Sanquhar a starting point for this river,
he will find the public road leading into the higher
parts of Kirkcudbrightshire passing close to upper
waters of the Ken, wliicli, wlien followed down a
few miles, soon become fine streams for tlie fly. But
tlie trout are here much smaller than in the lower
sections of the stream. It has few feeders; the
Deugh "Water and the Garpel Eum being the prin-
cipal. They are not, however, of much consequence.
There is some lake-fishing in this locality to those
who are fond of it. The lochs of Grannoch, Domal,
Lochinbreck, Glentoo, and Roan, which contain
trout and pike, and a few perch, will afford a fair
share of sport. There is a loch in Girthon parish,
in which there are large quantities of charr. Loch
Brack is celebrated for its ^e and large trout ; and
Barscobe, Houie, and Loch Skae, have a high repu-
tation among the anglers in the neighbourhood.
The entire scenery of the upper parts of the Ken
is of a singularly wild and desolate cast. We travel
for miles and find no human dwelling to cheer our
eye, or call forth our human sympathies. Yet this
kind of country is full of interest to a contemplative
mind. It produces a soft and soothing melancholy
which some poets have imagined to be the highest
standard of human bliss. And so, in one sense, it
certainly is. Nature is never sad ; in all her phases
she speaks to the heart and affections, and imparts
to them the most exquisite pleasures. These heathy
moors, these solitary wastes, these barren and frown-
ing mountains, and these dells and caves, in which
the human foot has seldom trodden, light up a more
intense and bright flame in the breasts of men than
the bustle of the great city, or the gaities of the
ball-room. !N'ature's teachings are always to tlie
purpose — always directed to self-examination, self-
culture, self-goyemment, self- gratification and im-
provement. Every tiling she teaches, she teaches
for time and eternity.
The angler will find it a most delightful ramble
to go from the junction of the two rivers to the
higher sources of the Dee. There is excellent trout
fishing in this direction, and the country is beauti-
ful along many parts of its banks. Erom the neigh-
bourhood of Poulloch Water, which flows out of
Loch Grrannoch, to near the source of the stream,
there is a regular succession of the finest fishing
waters imaginable. The entire route is full of wild
and picturesque grandeur.
"We cannot leave these angling waters without
noticing that, near to the junction of the Dee and
Ken, there is a locality rendered sacred by the well-
known song, called ^' Mary's Dream.'' It was
written in 1770, by one John Lowe, the son of the
gardener of Kenmure Castle. We are told that
Bums specially visited this neighbourhood, hallowed
by the outpourings of genius, and ** lingered, and
lingered, and lingered on the spot, as if he expected
the passing spirit to appear." The author of this
song fell in love with one of the daughters of a gen-
tleman, in whose family he was a preceptor. The
sister to this young lady was called Mary, and her
lover was drowned at sea; and this unfortunate
occurrence induced the young man to write the song
in question. As it is a great favourite with the
inliabitants in tMs part of Scotland, and a most
beautiful thing in itself, we shall take the liberty of
here transcribing it : —
The lovely moon had climVd the hill,
Where eagle's big aboon the Dee,
And, like the looks of a lovely dame.
Brought joy to everybody's ee.
A' but sweet Mary deep in sleep,
Her thoughts on Sandy far at sea ;
A voice drapt saftly on her ear —
" Sweet Mary, weep nae mair for me !"
She lifted up her wakening een,
To see from whence the sound might be,
And there she saw young Sandy stand,
Pale, bending on her hollow ee.
" 0, Mary, dear, lament nae mair !
I'm in death's thraws aneath the sea ;
Thy weeping makes me sad in bliss,
Sae, Mary, weep nae mair for me !
" The wind slept when we left the bay,
But soon it waked and raised the main,
And God he bore us down the deep,
Wha strave wi' him, but strave in vain.
He stretch'd his arm and took me up,
Tho' laith I was to gane but thee :
I look frae heaven aboon the storm,
Sae, Mary, weep nae mair for me !
" Take aff thae bride-sheets frae ihy bed,
Which thou hast faulded down for me —
Unrobe thee of thy earthly stole —
1*11 meet in heaven aboon wi' thee !**
Three times the grey cock flapp'd his wing,
To mak the morning lift his ee ;
And thrice the passing spirit said,
" Sweet Mary, weep nae mair for me !'*
Passing from the Dee, and proceeding westward,
we meet with the river Cree, which springs out of
Ayrshire, passes through Loch Cree, and, after a
course of about twenty miles, falls into Wigton Bay,
near the town of Creetown. The Minnick enters it
a little above Loch Cree, and is a good trout stream.
In the higher parts of both streams, the trout are
very numerous, but they run small ; and the best
fishing waters for the salmon and grilse are below
the town of Newton Stewart.
The Bla\^denoch Water is one of a similar charac-
ter to that of the Cree. It springs out of the same
locality, runs parallel with it, and then enters Wig-
ton Bay a few miles west of Creetown. ]^ear to Kirk-
cowan, the Blai||Ldenoch receives the Tarf Water,
which comes from the same mountainous range on
the borders of the county of Ayr. Both streams
have a good share of trout in their higher waters,
but not m.any salmon or salmon- trout. The scenery
upon many parts of their banks is very fine and pic-
turesque. The flies we have used in these waters
have generally been of a brown and black-bodied
cast. But our impression is, that the fish here are
not very particular as to colour^ only she is of some
The Pleet and the Luce, both entering Luce Bay
at a short distance from each other, are streams
worth throwing a line into, though they are not of a
first-rate character. We have seen the minnow a
very deadly bait in both waters, in the summer
months, after rain.
Turning from Gallowayshire to the right towards
the north, we enter Ayrshire, a county which has
some fine angling streams. If we cut through the
country by the higher parts of the Cree, we shall at
no very great distance fall in with the river Stin-
char, which runs a course of about thirty miles. It
is a good angling water, and has a fair portion of
salmon. Its feeders are the Dusk, the Tig, and the
Muck ; in all of which a great number of small but
rather rich flavoured trout are to be found. The
anglers who frequent this stream use a great variety
of flies ; the minnow is likewise in great request in
certain seasons of the year.
Should the tourist wish to have a little loch fish-
ing, he will find several sheets of water in the loca-
lities near to the higher parts of the Minnick and
Cree. These are Loch Darnal, Maberry, Chirmany,
and Moam, in all of which there are trout, pike,
bull-trout, perch, and several other species of bot-
tom fish. The rural scenery in the neighbourhood
of these lochs is often very beautiful and impressive,
and cannot fail to yield the angler a large portion of
rational pleasure and enjoyment.
If the angler has wandered with his rod through
these mountainous tracts of Gallowayshire, and has
had the right feelings of a genuine piscatorian, his
mind will look back upon these wild regions with
some degree of regret. His eye has become familiar
with, certain features of nature — the hills, the peaks,
the dells, the gorges, the rushing waters, and the
smiling but narrow valleys. They have all
administered to his pleasure, whether he caught fish
or not. The imagination has dwelt upon them with
more or less intensity and affection ; and now, when
he has to bid them farewell, he feels they have
obtained a hold upon his heart, which he did not
previously anticipate. This is one of the grand
secrets which nature teaches us, in courting and
wooing her. She has an irresistible fascination about
her. Her smiles, and even her frowns and scowls,
have something seductively winning and engaging.
She stamps her character upon our remembrances,
and places it for ever before us. The rivers and the
trees, the hills and the fields, are the marks she
leaves on the journal of our memory. She fills us
with admiration at this spot, and overawes us at
that. We have derived rich stores of joy and beauty
from east and west, north and south. We have
revelled in luxurious feelings from nature's inex-
haustible storehouse. The heavens and the earth
have administered to our gratification, and filled us
with lively hopes and aspirations. And now we
are about to leave these spots of sublimity and gran-
deur, and to saunter among tamer views and cham-
pagne landscapes. The hum, and noise, and bustle
of active and social life, will again engross the
senses, and fill our minds with images and materials
of thought, of an altogether different character.
Coming suddenly from such pure and bracing air —
from tlie still sublimities of nature — tbe hum of a
city falls upon the ear like a dream. One can
scarcely realise the noise and turmoil of carts and
carriages, or relish the odours from reeking gutters
and cesspools, or attune our organs of hearing to the
shouts and squallings of hundreds of ragged and
dirty urchins, up the narrow lanes and alleys of the
crowded emporium of wealth and traffic. All these
things instinctively drive us back again upon our-
selves ; we grasp the rod, that true emblem of tran-
quility and peace, more firmly in the hand, and look
back to the simplicity, and purity, and grandeur
which enshroud all our mountain wanderings and
Pollowing along the coast, we come, at a distance
of about twelve miles, to the Girvan, which springs
from the hills in the neighbourhood of Barr and
Straiton. One of its sources is Loch Spalander,
which contains excellent and large-sized trout, with
a goodly sprinkling of charr. Trolling with the
minnow in this sheet of water, which is of no great
extent, is very successful, at almost any part of the
fishing season. The banks of the Girvan have long
been highly celebrated for their fine scenery. Eums
sings of ^^ Girvan' s fairy-haunted stream;" and the
whole neighbourhood is more or less interesting
from particular and striking incidents in Scottish
history. A place called Tumberry was the property
of Eobert Bruce, and the spot, as Bums relates,
"where Bruce ance ruled the martial ranks, and
shook his Carrick spear." Here also was the farm
of Shanter, belonging to Douglas Grahame, the hero
of " Tarn o' Shanter/' which the Ayrshire bard has
rendered familiar all over the world.
As an angling river, the Girvan is a pleasant
water to perambulate with the rod. The streams are
well adapted for throwing the line with ease and
dexterity ; and in the spring months they are com-
monly in very high condition for sport. Attention
ought to be paid to the size of the flies used for this
water ; colour is not of so much importance.
The Doon and its feeders are classic waters in this
section of the Scottish kingdom. Their streams
have been immortalised by the fascinations of song.
Its sources lie on the borders of Kirkcudbright, and
it is connected with a chain of lochs, of which Loch
Doon is the principal. The river has a run from
this spot to the sea of about eighteen or twenty
miles, and is altogether a very fine and interesting
angling stream. Salmon, salmon-trout, the yel-
low and common trouts, and pike, are found in its
waters. Its bed is very rocky ; and we every now
and then meet with narrow gullies through which the
watery element makes its way with irresistible im-
petuosity. The angling with fly is good nearly all
the entire route, from Loch Doon to where the river
joins the ocean. It is much frequented by numbers
of anglers from the town of Ayr and its neighbour-
hood, by whom its higher waters are generally more
warmly eulogised than those portions nearer the
coast. Good fishing tackle is to be had in this town.
Lake fisMng in the higher parts of the Doon is
very good. Loch Doon itself is a sheet of water six
miles long, and about a mile in breadth. There are
no less than twenty -six distinct lochs in or near to the
parish of Staiton ; in all of which there are more or
less trout, pike, perch, &c. In some of these lochs,
such as Eraden, Dercleugh, and Pinlas, boats are
kept for the accommodation of anglers.
This locality is interesting on accoimt of its
having been a celebrated spot for the shelter of the
Presbyterians in former days ; many of whom met
here with cruel and savage deaths. There is a place
called Ayr^s Moss, where between sixty and seventy
of them located themselves, determined upon resist-
ance or death. They were attacked by a number of
dragoons, and many of them killed on the spot. The
scene of this bloody affair is marked by a flat monu-
ment, called Carrier orCs Stone.
The river Ayr has a larger range than the Doon,
being nearly thirty miles in extent. It springs out
of the hilly grounds about the neighbourhood of
Muirkirk. It is a fair fishing stream, but does not
stand so high in general estimation as the Doon.
There are a few salmon and yellow trout in it. In
the higher localities of the Ayr, we fall in with its
two small feeders, the Garpel and the Greenock,
which have a considerable quantity of small trout ;
but these waters are scarcely entitled to the notice
of the tourist, when other superior streams are so
near and abundant. The Lugar and the Coyle like-
wise join the Ayr lower down towards the west.
These are better tributaries than the other two first
mentioned. We have seen fine trout, and in consi-
derable numbers, taken in the Lugar, particularly
with the minnow, during the summer months.
The entire valley of the Ayr is extremely interest-
ing, both from its rural features and from the poeti-
cal associations connected with it, from its having
been the birth-place of Eums, and where he spent
the first twenty-five years of his life. Some of the
most humorous and pathetic pieces were written on
or near to the banks of the Ayr, and are descriptive of
some of its well-known localities, even at this hour.
It was at Mauchline, near the river, that he saw his
*^ Highland Mary," his first love, of whom he sang,
" Ye banks, and braes, and streams around
The Castle o* Montgomerie,
Green be your woods and fair your flowers,
Your waters never drumlie.
There summer first unfaulds her robes,
And there they langest tarry,
For there I took my last farewell
Of my sweet Highland Mary.
" How sweetly bloom' d the gay green birk,
How rich the hawthorn's blossom.
As underneath the fragrant shade
I clasp' d her to my bosom."
The poet's biographers tell us that he and this
object of his ardent affection ^' stood on each side of
a small brook — ^they laved their hands in the limpid
stream — and, holding a Bible between them, pro-
nounced their vows to be faithful to each other.''
This Bible is, or was lately, in possession of a sur-
viving sister of Mary, at Ardrossan. Upon the
boards of the first volume, is inscribed, in Burn's
handwriting, " And ye shall not swear by my name
falsely, I am the Lord. — (Lev., xix., 12). On the
second volume, '^ Thou shalt not forswear thyself,
but shall perform unto the Lord thine oaths." —
(Mat., v., 33). And on the blank leaf of either,
"Eobert Bums, Mossgiel," with his free-mason
mark. The parting was an eternal one. On return-
ing to Greenock, on her way to Ayrshire, Mary
Campbell died of inflammation, and was buried in
the church-yard there, where there is a monument
to commemorate her story.
It was in this locality of the Ayr that he after-
wards wrote his famous ballad, which Mr. Lockhart
says is the best he ever penned, ''To Mary in
" Thou lingering star, with lessening ray,
That lov'st to greet the early morn,
Again thou usher' st in the day
My Mary from my soul was torn.
*' 0, Mary ! dear departed shade !
Where is thy blissful place of rest ?
Seest thou thy lover lowly laid ?
Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast ?"
Proceeding towards Glasgow, we meet with the
Irvine, and its tributary, the Cessnack. The main
river is not held in high repute by anglers, but its
feeder has a fair portion of smallish trout.
The Gamock springs from the higher lands of the
county, in the vicinity of the two sheets of water
called Kilbimie and Castlesemple, both of which
contain trout, perch, pike, &c. The Gamock is
considerably augmented by the waters of the Eye,
Caaf, Dusk, and Lugton. There is a good sprink-
ling of small trout in all these feeders, but in dry
seasons they become quite unfit for anything like
pleasant rod- fishing. The chief river is greatly to be
preferred. It falls into the sea near Irvine.
The banks of most of these waters are very beau-
tiful, and at particular parts of their course present
very rich and varied landscapes. They are a good
deal frequented by anglers in the height of the fish-
ing season, and prove a valuable auxiliary to the
stock of angling streams so near to the great and
increasing City of Glasgow.
The County of Renfrew is very small, and contains
few waters of any note. The White Cart, the Black
Cart, and the Gryfe, rise in the high moorlands,
meet in one, and join the Clyde at Inchinnan. The
White Cart, in its higher localities, contains a good
many very fine trout ; and in this neighbourhood
there are several lochs : Loch Goin, Brother Loch,
Black Loch, Long Loch, &c., in all of which there
are fine trout, and likewise charr. The feeders
of the White Cart are Earn Bum, Kevack Bum,
Auldhouse Bum, and Levern Water.
The Black Cart is, in some parts of its course, a
fair fishing stream, though not exactly to our fancy.
There are but few trout in it, and those of no great
size. It has pike, braize, and perch. The Gryfe
joins it, which has the Locher for its chief feeder.
]S"early all the rivers, and many of their chief tri-
butaries, enumerated in this division of our work,
with the exception of those situated in Galloway, are
easily accessible by railway conveyance from Glas-
gow or Edinburgh, and likewise from the English
border, by way of Carlisle. This circumstance is of
great moment to the angler whose time and resources
are limited. He may make a tour of many waters,
and enjoy a great diversity of scenery, at a very
trifling cost of money and time.
THE NORTH & NOHTH-WESTERN DIVISION.
Embracing the Counties op Dumbarton, Stirling, Arotlb, Pebth,
Aberdeen, Banff, Nairn, Inverness, Ross, Sutherland, and
We are now about to enter upon our third great
angling route, or, we ought rather to say, an entire
series of routes, which are by far the most varied,
and, to many minds, will prove the most interesting
of any we have yet treated of. The vast range of
waters we are now about to describe, are fitted to
inspire high hopes, and heart- stirring adventures;
and to those who visit, for the first time, the nor-
thern parts of the kingdom, a new sense is communi-
cated. Never will the young angler forget the
lively sensations experienced on the first glimpse of
Highland scenery. The sight is unique ; the feelings
and emotions of delight carve out new channels for
themselves ; and he wonders that the refreshing and
invigorating novelty should have been so long hidden
from his eyes. His soul is elated beyond measure,
when he scans, through the bright crimson of a set-
ting sun, the lofty and rugged peaks of Argyleshire ;
and as he wanders through the narrow and rocky
glens, he feels a pleasure as pure, lively, ennobling,
and spiritual, as any which mortal man, in this
mundane state of existence, is permitted to ex-
We beg to offer a word or two by way of expla-
nation. As we have not undertaken to write an
ordinary guide book of roads and distances, we must
be excused from dwelling upon matters which are to
be found in every general directory, or post-office
hand-book. Our task is to point out the chief rivers
and lakes which abound with salmon and trout, and
which lie in the northern section of the Island. The
fishing localities are so numerous here that we can
do little more, in many cases, than barely eniunerate
them. Still we trust that what we have to say on
the subject will prove useful and opportune. As
our space is limited, minuteness of description can-
not be indulged in ; but we shall attempt to give
such a faithful and general sketch as, we feel confi-
dent, will prove of advantage to most rod-fishers,
and, to the comparative stranger to the country, a
seasonable angling itinerary.
We may be allowed to mention, byway of introduc-
tion, and with a view to assist the sporting tourist
to form a generally correct notion of the geography
of this district, that the most celebrated chain of
Highland mountains is that of the Grampians. It
commences on the east of Loch Etive, in Argyle-
shire, and terminates between Stonehaven and the
mouth of the Dee. The most elevated portion of
this chain lies at the head of this river. Een Mac-
dui is the highest mountain in Scotland, and rises
4,418 feet above the level of the sea. The mountains
of Cairngorm, Cairntoul, and Een Avon, are respec-
tively 4,050, 4,225, and 3,967 feet. ]N"ear to the
east end of Loch Eannock is the mountain Schehal-
lion, 3,613 feet, and Een Lawers, on the north side
of Loch Tay, is 3,945 ; Een More, at the head of
Glendochart, 3,818; Een Lomond, on the confines
of Loch Lomond, 3,191 ; and Een Cruachen, at the
head of Loch Awe, 3,390. Een ]S"evis, commonly
reputed one of the highest Eritish mountains, lies in
the vicinity of Fort- William, and is 4,358 feet above
the level of the ocean. Its circumference at its base
is computed at 24 miles. On the south of the
Grampians, the Sidlaw, Ochil, and Campoie chains
of hills cut the valleys of the Forth and Tay into
three distinct portions.
Making a start with our rod and basket from
Glasgow, we have a ready access, either by railway
or river steamer, to the county of Dumbarton. We
shall say nothing of the river Kelvin, in the imme-
diate vicinity of the city, further than that it is a
stream not worth a single rush to any angler who
has the rest of Scotland before him. Well, get to
Loch Lomond in a trice. The winding length of this
lake is not less than four-and-twenty miles. It is
narrow towards the northern extremity. On the
western side the hills are well clothed with wood.
A very narrow stripe of ground intervenes between
the termination of the hills and the brink of the
lake. The isles scattered towards the southern end
of the loch present a most charming sight. They
are for the most part covered with wood.
There is excellent fishing in the loch, which con-
tains trout of great size, and a goodly portion of sal-
mon and salmon-trout. The Leven Water, in
extent about seven miles, is a piece of good fishing
water. Smollett, who was bom and educated in
this locality, has sung the praises of the Leven in
an ode, which has retained a well-merited celebrity.
" On Leven' s banks, while free to rove,
And tune the rural pipe to love,
I envied not the happiest swain
That ever trod the Arcadian plain.
Pure stream ! in whose transparent wave
My youthful limbs I wont to lave ;
No torrents strain thy limpid source,
No rocks impede thy dimpling course,
That sweetly warbles o'er its bed
"With white, round, polish' d pebbles spread.
While lightly pois'd the scaly brood
In myriads cleave thy crystal flood ;
The springing trout in speckled pride,
The salmon, monarch of the tide,
The ruthless pike, intent on war,
The silver eel, and mottled par.
Devolving from thy parent lake,
A charming maze thy waters make,
By bowers of birch, and groves of pine,
And edges flower' d with eglantine.
Still on thy banks so gaily green
May numerous flocks and herds be seen,
And lasses chanting o'er the pail,
And shepherds piping in the dale ;
And ancient faith that knows no guile,
And industry imbrown'd with toil ;
And hearts resolved, and hands prepar'd,
The blessings they enjoy to guard."
Locli Lomond lias several tributaries, the princi-
pal of which are the Pruin, Gudrick, Douglas, Luss,
Einlass, Glenfalloch, and Inveruglass. The trout
in all these streams nin very small, though numer-
ous. Anything in the shape and size of a fly will
tempt them. Ten or twelve dozen of trout may be
taken out of any of these feeders, in a very short
space of time. To ramble on their banks is most
delightful. The scenery in every direction is pic-
turesque and imposing.
Should the angler feel disposed, a visit to the
lofty Een Lomond will afford him inexpressible
delight. In the immediate vicinity, a few lines
were written on a pane of glass, in an inn, which
are very descriptive, both of the mountain itself
and the best mode of ascending it.
'' Stranger, if o'er this pane of glass perchance,
Thy roving eye should cast a casual glance ;
If taste for grandeur and the dread sublime
Prompt thee Ben Lomond's fearful height to climb,
Here gaze attention ; nor with scorn refuse
The friendly rhymings of a tavern muse.
For thee that muse this rude inscription plann'd,
Prompted for thee her humble poet's hand.
Heed thou the poet ; he thy steps shall lead
Safe o'er yon towering hiU's aspiring head.
Attentive, then, to this informing lay,
Read how he dictates as he points the way.
Trust not at first a quick advent' rous pace.
Six miles its top points gradual from the base.
Up the high rise with panting haste I pass'd,
And gained the long laborious steep at last.
More prudent thou, when once you pass the deep,
"With measured pace and slow ascend the lengthen' d steep ;
Oft stay thy steps, oft take the cordial drop.
And rest, rest ! long, long upon the top ;
Where hail the breezes, nor with toilsome haste
Down the rough slope thy previous vigour waste.
So shall thy wondering sight at once survey
Vales, lakes, woods, mountains, islands, rocks, and sea ;
Huge hills that, heap'd in crowded order, stand
Stretch' d o'er the northern and the western land —
Vast lumpy groups ; while Ben, who often shrouds
His loftier summit in a veil of clouds.
High o'er the rest displays superior state,
In proud pre-eminence sublimely great.
One side, all awful to the gazing eye,
Presents a steep three hundred fathoms high.
The scene tremendous shocks the startled sense
"With all the pomp of dread magnificence.
All these, and more, shalt thou transported see,
And own a faithful monitor in me."
How often have we reposed under some overhang-
ing rock on these streams in Dumbartonshire, and
surveyed with interested eye, and feeling of intense
pleasure, the sublime traits of nature — ^phenomena
which fill the soul with astonishment and awe, and
inspire it at the same time with heavenly ecstacy !
This is a work which belongs to the Deity alone to
execute. Here the mind of man rises in rapturous
feelings towards the Author of all the wonders
which surround him ; here the most determined
sceptic would he compelled to admit the existence of
a Supreme Eeing. The most suhlime of religious
temples, the cathedrals, and even the magnificent
and incomparahle Yatican itself, where the Deity
and religion display themselves in all their pomp
and majesty, can never excite in the mind senti-
ments of faith and piety so perfect and profound as
those inspired hy the stupendous, transcendent, and
prodigious creations of Di\dne Omnipotence dis-
played in these mountain passes.
It is not one of the least of the pleasures of the
angling tourist to find, in many of those seques-
tered spots, such as we are now treating of, the
beauties of nature, sterile and bleak as she often is,
inspiring the love of song in the rural swains in the
neighbourhood ; and to witness how often the ten-
der passion is awakened in the breast of the rod-
fisher, by rambling among the solitary haunts
which his sport leads him to frequent. In angling
down the Truin lately, we met with one of those
rural ditties, which pleased us much, chiefly on
account of having been highly interested with
the divers windings through its wild and romantic
channel to where it empties itself into Loch Lomond.
This is all the apology we can offer for inserting
these lines here.
" Iv'e aften seen the roses blaw —
I've aften stray' d the flow'rs amang —
I've aften heard, in birken shaw,
The little wood-lark's heavenly sang —
I've aften mark'd, in cloudless sky,
The progress of the rising moon —
But never ought could yield me joy
Like angling on the banks of Froon.
" *Twas here I saw a diamond bright,
Her raven hair's the jetty craw,
Her silvery neck's as pure an' white
As is the breast o' the sea maw.
The hinny di-ap frae alF the lip
0' this dear saint in beauty's noon,
An angel's sel' might fondly sip,
Sae sweet I the maiden of Glenfroon.
" Blind fortune, hence ! I court thee not,
Nor 'gainst thee shall I e'er repine —
Go, deal thy favours, lot by lot,
To them that kneel before thy shrine.
But night and day to heav'n I'll pray,
Until it grant me a' my boon,
Then will I clasp, in love's fond grasp,
As mine, the maiden of Glenfroon.
The Endrick is a good angling stream in the
summer months after rain. We have seen large
baskets of fish caught at such times in its waters.
Its banks are famed as the birth-place of IS'apier, the
discoverer of the Logarithms, and where he was
^igaged many years in his profound calculations.
« Th' Endrick, in wildly lyric mood,
Displays her laurel crown.
And tells that, musing by her flood,
Sage Napier earned renown :
That oft she paused, and marked at midnight hour
The pale lamp glimmering in his ivied tower."
There are several small burns, and two or three
lochs, besides Loch Lomond, in which there is fair
fishing. There are trout, pike, and perch, in Loch
Sloy, in the neigbourhood of Arrochar.
Stirlingshire is easily reached either by way of
Glasgow, or from the Dumbarton side of the county.
Its chief river is the Forth. It springs from the
vicinity of the northern side of Ben Lomond, and
for several miles of its course is called the Duchray.
In this section of its waters, running over a barren
and uninteresting range of mossy land, it is not of
much fishing note. Its trout are often, however,
above the average size, and always comparatively
rich and highly flavoured. Light and gaudy flies
are here very successful.
The waters of the Eorth are greatly increased
near Aberfoil from those which flow out of Loch
Ard. The river again changes its name to that of
Avondow ; and, after running about six miles in the
county of Perth, re-enters Stirlingshire, and again
assumes its original designation of Forth. It
receives the waters of the Teith and Allan before it
reaches the town of Stirling. There is capital sal-
mon and trout fishing in this locality, and pike and
perch are likewise to be obtained. The Corporation
of Stirling own the greater part of the salmon
fisheries on the water, which amount to a consider-
able sum yearly. We shall notice in another place
the eastern streams of this county.
Argyleshire is a district rich in numerous and
yaried fishing waters. Indeed, there are so many,
that a formal enumeration and description of them
would be both tiresome and unprofitable. The
county is readily accessible from Glasgow, from
whence the angler can plunge at once into the very
heart of it, in a few hours, by steamers plying in
every direction, and at a very trifling expense. In
no part of the island is there a more interesting
field for piscatory excursions than in this section
If the tourist move from the Dumbarton side of
the county, he may soon be in the neighbourhood of
excellent fishing waters. Let him make his way to
Inverary. He will be in the vicinity of Loch Fine,
into which the rivers Ary and Shira fall. These
are good trout streams. The fish are rich, and in
fair size. The most seductive flies, in our experi-
ence, are the red and black hackles. We have
known several dozens of trout taken with them in
these waters, in a very short space of time.
Loch Fine is the largest arm of the sea which
penetrates inland in Scotland. Its length, between
Inverary and the Mull of Cantyre, is nearly one
hundred miles. Near its mouth the sea communi-
cates with many other large openings into the land.
It is famous for its salmon and herring fisheries.
The scenery is very beautiful in most localities. One
of the most interesting objects in this neighbour-
hood is Inverary Castle, the residence of the Duke
of Argyle. Sir "Walter Scott, in his legend of Mon-
trose, has done ample justice to this ducal seat
and the splendid scenery around it. "Embarked,''
says he, " on the bosom of Loch Fine, Captain Dal-
getty might have admired one of the grandest scenes
which nature affords. He might have noticed the
rival rivers Ary and Shira, which pay tribute to the
lake, each issuing from its own dark and wooded
retreat. He might have marked out the soft and
gentle slopes that ascend from the shores ; the noble
old Gothic castle, with its varied outline, embattled
walls, towers, and outer and inner courts, which, so
far as the picturesque is concerned, presented an
aspect much more striking than the present massive
and uniform mansion. He might have admired
those dark woods, which, for many a mile, sur-
rounded this strong and princely dwelling, and his
eye might have dwelt on the picturesque peak of
Duniquoich, starting abruptly from the lake, and
raising its scathed brow into the mist of the middle
sky ; while a solitary watch-tower perched on its
top like an eagle's nest, gave a dignity to the scene
by awaking a sense of possible danger."
Douglas Water runs into Loch Finn, and is a
good trout stream, though of very limited extent.
There are several small bums which flow into the
loch at various places, and in which fine trout are
often taken vdth bait in the summer season after a
good shower of rain.
If the angler be in the higher localities of the
river Ary, Loch Awe lies only a short distance to
the west, and the walk to it will be found pictur-
esque and pleasant. Dalmally is a suitable angling
station ; it places the tourist in the immediate vici-
nity of first-rate fishing waters. Loch Awe itself
is a splendid sheet of water for the rod. The most
frequented sporting station on its banks is Port Son-
nachan, which is twelve miles from Inverary. The
lake is between five- and- twenty and thirty miles in
length, but averaging little more than a mile in
breadth. It has a good supply of salmon, trout,
bull-trout, pike, charr, and the sea trout. The loch
is surrounded by lofty mountains of the most roman-
tic and wild description, the highest of which is
Ben Cruachan, whose base extends to Loch Etive,
and occupies an area of full twenty square miles.
The finest scenery on Loch Awe will be found at
its eastern extremity. Its banks are generally
sloping, well cultivated, and ornamented with tim-
ber. There are four-and-twenty small islands stud-
ded over its surface, some of which are very beauti-
fiil, and well wooded. The loch is said to be, in
some parts, full seventy fathoms deep.
There is a beautiful view of the Orchy, from the
old stone bridge that crosses it, near to Dalmally.
The clear streams, the rich pastures, and the moun-
tains in the distance, present as magnificent a pros-
pect as the eye of man can rest upon.
Erom this point the mountain scenery is very im-
posing, and reminds the rambler of the romantic
character of some of the valleys of the Rhine, only
the volnme of water is wanting. It exhausts all the
powers of expression to do justice to the scene.
Amidst a number of cultivated patches of land,
encircled by the graceful sinuosities of the river,
arises a conical and detached mountain. If you
ascend it, you have to make your way through con-
siderable quantities of firs and brushwood, strikingly
contrasted, in many spots, with the huge blocks of
barren rocks which lie interspersed among them ;
but when the summit is gained, a most delightful
view bursts upon the eye, commanding the whole
valley and cultivated grounds beneath. To see the
first or last rays of a splendid sun gild the lovely
picture, is a scene never to be forgotten. Casting a
glance over the opposite mountains, we see them
ruggedly broken in abrupt rocks ; and the imagina-
tion involuntarily moulds them into forms of towers,
steeples, cottages, and the like.
The river Awe is a first-rate piece of water for
salmon and trout fishing, but its extent does not
exceed five miles at the utmost. When there is a
good stiff breeze on the still parts of it, verj^ large
fish can readily be taken. At the eastern extremity
of the loch, there is likewise the Orchy, which is its
chief feeder. It has its source in a sheet of water
about fifteen miles from its mouth. It is ;:ii excel-
lent trout and salmon stream, and the country along
its banks is magnificently wild and impressive.
There are several other short runs of water, and
burns, fiowing into the loch, in all of whi<:'h there is
abundance of fish, though of a sm* r han
those found in the main waters. Gaudy flies are the
favourite ones in these localities ; the size, of course,
varying with the wind, the season of the year, and
the state of the waters. Good and commodious
inns will be found for the tourist at Dalmally, Cla-
dish, Port Sonachan, and Eunaw. These are very
agreeable and necessary things, especially to English
piscatory tourists, who are generally very sensitive
to all domestic comforts.
Argyleshire contains many antiquities. The
ecclesiastical ruins in lona are well entitled to espe-
cial notice. There are in Oronsa the remains of a
Cistercian priory, one of the religious antiquities of
the Hebrides. After those of lona, of the ancient
castles may be mentioned Dunstaffiiage, at the
entrance of Loch Etive, a square building, in a
ruinous state, with round towers at three of the
corners, having an old chapel of elegant workman-
ship near it ; Ardterinish, or Ardternish, on the
sound of Mull ; Sknipnish, in Cantjrre ; Kilchurn,
at the east end of Loch Awe, and others. There
are, in different places of the coast, old '* duns," or
Danish forts. Druidical circles more or less complete,
and cairns, are to ,be seen in different parts. Of
natural curiosities, besides Staffa, with its basaltic
columns and cave, may be noticed some singular
caverns in the parishes of Loch Goyle-head and
Strachur, both in Cowal.
In travelling over these moimtainous tracts, and
diverging any great distance from fixed and estab-
lished resting places, often exposes the angler to
some privations. He should make up his mind not
to stand upon mere trifles as to eating and lodgment.
A certain amount of uncomfortableness gives zest to
one's piscatory adventures, and makes us feel more
intensely grateful for a comfortable fire- side, and a
full board, when we realize them. We were once
ranging with a small party in this county with the
rod ; and, delighting in the wild freedom of going
whithersoever we liked, we wandered by the sides
of a good fishing stream, till we were far beyond any
human habitation. "We grew desperately hungry.
At length we came to a little cottage, of rude and
primitive construction, into which we ventured.
We asked for something to eat ; oat-cake was pre-
sented, but no milk, butter, nor meat of any kind.
Hungry as we were, the dry oat-cake did not go
down with any relish. One of the party, in prying
about the comers of this rural abode, espied the
entire bone of a shoulder of mutton, with a few of
the integuments still hanging to it, but of real flesh
there was scarcely anything. We bargained with
the good wife of the house for the prize. It was laid
with great care on a peat fire, dusted liberally with
salt, and then divided amongst us. How keenly
did the singed scrapings of the bone make us relish
our oat-cake. They put us aU in good humour.
Mutton never had such a taste before; and we
actually wished that all our legs of mutton could be
made into bone. We had the essence of all animal
essences — the meat next the marrpw — the very
penetralia of the feast. I^o man can form a just
notion of wliat is meant by the fat of the land, till
he has feasted off a bone of this kind, under such
When we were done, we began to philosophise.
Most men do so after being fed. We began to
rummage up our knowledge of bones. We remem-
bered that funny personage, Count Rumford, and
his Essay on Bones ; and likewise the story in the
Persian Tales, where it is stated that a man " staid
a whole year with the genii of the earth, feeding on
nothing but herbs." As for the genii themselves,
their common nourishment was bones ; these bones
made their rarest entertainments ; and whilst they
were grinding them with their teeth, they would
cry out, '* what excellent food they were." When
our disquisitions had ended, and we had taken a
little of the mountain dew, we made up a hash of the
following lines on our rich and providential repast :
0, noble bone ! dear token of joy past,
Have we not shown we lov'd thee to the last?
Come ! let us tell thee, Shankie, ere we part,
How like a sage philosopher thou art.
Lean, insignificant, fit for the fire,
"We even threw thee on it in our ire.
But from the ashes — like the phoenix — lo !
Thou breathedst forth in re-existing glow
Of flavour double strong. — 0, glorious bone !
Say, have we loved thee for thyself alone ?
Yet, though we've torn the meat from ofi* thy back.
And sucked the juices which thy sides now lack,
An honourable bone thou art, indeed,
For unto us thou wert a friend in need —
And we would drink, if this pint were a keg,
Thy resurrection in some other leg.
And if two friends have such a bone to pick,
We hope they always may continue thick ;
Nay, if they have but this one bone between them.
From every bone of discord may fate screen them ;
And at their mutton, grant those friends most true
May make no bones about it, but fall to.
The distance is little more thaii ten miles from the
eastern point of Loch Awe to the north-eastern
point of Loch Etive, where the river Etive will be
found. This is a fine ramble, when the weather is
suitable. The river is a notable one for good fishing.
It fiows through a range of country, for about fif-
teen miles, which is at once the most impressively
gloomy and grand. Everything around reminds us
of the notion we commonly have of the end of time,
and the universal chaos of the world. But the
angling is excellent for salmon, salmon-trout, and
common trout. Gaudy flies are the most in vogue
on this stream. There is a rock stretching across
its bed, forming a waterfall, near to Dalness, which
prevents, in a great measure, salmon from ascending
higher up its waters. We have known prodigious
quantities of trout taken with fly above this spot.
The river is by no means much frequented by
anglers. Besides the Etive, the main loch has
flowing into it the Kinlas, the Koe, the Liver, and
the greater and lesser Esragans. These several
streams, though of little extent, are full of small
trout, but cannot always be caught with the fly.
Erom the higher districts of the Etive, the dis-
tance to Loch Leven, through by the famous moun-
tain defile, called Glencoe, is not above twelve or
fourteen miles. This route the angler should take,
as this is a spot of country rendered memorable by
the great massacre which took place in it in 1692
In passing through this narrow pass, the angler wll
fall in with the stream called the Cona, celebrated,
it is said, as the birth-place of Ossian. On each
side of the banks of this water, a range of lofty hills
spring perpendicularly to the height of two thousand
feet, throwing a shadowy gloom over the vale, which
makes a deep impression on the mind of most tra-
vellers. The trout are but very smaU in the Cona,
but when the water is in good order, they can be
procured in considerable numbers.
Loch Crenan is near this part of the county, and
has the Crenan river, and the Euie, Ure, Dergan,
and Tendal, as supplemental waters. There is good
fishing in all these places.
Should the angler set out from Glasgow by steamer,
direct for Oban, he will fall in with a multitude of
excellent sporting waters in the vicinity of this well
known travelling station to the Western Highlands.
JS'ear the town, we have the stream called the
Euchar, which springs out of Loch Scauradale, and
the Oude from another lake, called Trallaig. There
are ten or a dozen lochs, within a circuit of five or
six miles of Oban, in which there is splendid trout
fishing. There is one lake in particular, called
DonoUy Beg Loch, in Avhicli there is a peculiar spe-
cies of trout, thick, short, very red in the flesh, and
averaging about half-a-pound in weight. These are
caught sometimes in considerable quantities. Loch
JS^ell is about seven miles in circumference, and is
connected by a small stream called the Clugh, mth
an arm of the sea, denominated Loch Feochan. In
these separate waters very large trout are often
taken, weighing from six to nine pounds. Salmon
are likewise in abundance, and the Argyleshire
lanochs are to be found in great plenty. The yellow
trout, weighing from four to six pounds, are very
commonly met with in all the lochs and small
streams in the neighbourhood. In what are termed
the Black Lakes, about three miles from Oban, we
have seen several dozens of sea-trout, of good size,
taken in a veiy short space of time. There is a lake
called Killyheeran, opposite to Oban, in which there
is very rich, fat, red trout, in considerable quantities.
There is a large section of Argyleshire laying to
the north-west of Loch Lihnne and Loch Eil, and
which is known under the names of Morven, Sunart,
Ardnamurchan, Ardgour, Knapdale, and Cowal, in
which there is a large sphere for rod-fishing, both
for salmon and trout. Loch Sunart, and two or
three small streams which run into it, and Loch
Shiel, which divides this county from Inverness,
abound with trout of a very large size and rich fla-
vour. All kinds of light and glaring flies are used
in this division of the Highlands.
To the north of the opening of Loch Crenan lies
the district of Appin, in which are the streams called
the Coinicli, Col, Duror, Laroch, and Leven. There
are here a nuniber of small common trout, and a few
salmon, and salmon-trout, at particular seasons of
There is a portion of Argyleshire, near to Glas-
gow, which is a good deal frequented by anglers,
and it suits those who may have only a short time
to spare to indulge in their favourite amusement.
If the angler goes by steamer to Kilmun, he wiU
fall in with the stream called the Euchar, which
has a run of only about four or five miles out of
Loch Eck, into the Holy Loch. There is an abun-
dance of trout and grilse in it, and they take at
gaudy flies with great readiness. Loch Eck itself is
seven miles long, and contains, among a variety of
other fish, the powan, or fresh water herring. It is
said to possess the fish called in the neighbourhood
goldie, known no where else ; in length about ^ye
inches, and very curious on account of the succes-
sion of brilliant colours it displays before it dies.
The district known in Argyleshire as Cantyre,
which stretches away to the south from the main
portion of the county, contains several small streams,
in which there is capital fishing, both for salmon,
grilse, and trout. The chief of these rivulets, for
they can scarcely be called by any other name, are
Torisdale, Carradale, Saddell, Crossaig, Sunadale,
Claonaig, and Skipness. The files required here
should be of a smallish size, but light and gaudy
colour. There are a considerable number of small
lochs scattered up and down this district, in which
there is more or less of fine trout. The best known,
and most frequented of those, is Loch-na-Break, in
which very large fish have been often found.
In the Island of Eute, the angler will find Loch
Fad, and Loch Ascog, good sheets of water for pike
and perch. In the Grenan Loch there are large
trout, but not numerous. Salmon are taken out of
Loch Jorsa, in the Island of Arran ; and good sized
trout out of Loch Tanna. In Jura there are two or
three localities for the angler, but not of any
Leaving now this Highland district, we shall
direct the angler's attention to the fishing grounds
in the county of Perth. The chief rivers in it are
the Tay, the Lyon, the TummeU, the Garry, the
Almond, the Ericht, and the Earn.
The Tay rises in Ereadalbane, on the frontiers of
Lame. A short distance from its source, it receives
the accession of several rills, which considerably
augment its bulk. Soon after, it diffuses its waters
into a small lake, called Loch Dochart ; and, in fact,
the river here bears the name of Dochart. Continu-
ing its course from this lake, it soon expands into
another loch of the name of Dochart. Here another
river falls into it from the north-east. These waters
are now diffused into the famous Loch Tay. Issuing
from this at Kenmore, the Tay is further increased
by the waters of the Lyon. It proceeds through
Athol, receiving in its progress all the waters of the
county, till at Logic rait it is joined by the Tummel.
The Tay now bends to the south, and advancing
about eight miles, reaches Dunkeld, whence, taking
another direction, it continues its course towards
Perth, still receiving in its way the waters of seve-
ral tributaries, amongst which the most considerable
is the Almond. The main river then takes a south-
eastern course from Perth, receives the Earn, and
passes by Abemethy, once the capital of the Pictish
kingdom. Soon after this the river expands to the
breadth of thi*ee miles, but contracting as it ap-
proaches Dundee, it flows into the German ocean.
The Tay is a splendid river for salmon and trout.
The further the angler advances up the stream the
better it is for rod-fishing. It winds majestically
along between the mountain ranges. The noble
course of this river ; the magnified extent which its
level situation gives to the appearance of the town
of Perth ; the spacious lawns, laid out with great
taste and judgment; the gentle swellings of some
hills, and the abrupt elevation of others ; the wood
which clothes their sides, or is irregularly scattered
over the lower part of the country ; the numerous
dwellings spread throughout the scene, and the
highly cultivated portions of ground — all produce a
striking effect upon the eye of the stranger. He
does not wonder why the Eoman soldiers, nearly
two thousand years ago, exclaimed, " The Tiber !
The county of Perth altogether is one of the most
interesting to the general angler in all Scotland. The
scenery on most of its streams is, in numerous locali-
ties, splendid in description. Trees of every kind
seem to thrive well. Besides the picturesque and
the beautiful, there are some of the most wild and
gloomy views of nature which can be found in any
part of the United Kingdom.
There are so many excellent fishing stations on
the Tay, and its many important tributaries, that it
would require more space than we have at command
to dwell upon them individually at any length. We
shall just dot down a few observations respecting
them, leaving the angling tourist, when he pays the
county of Perth a visit, to fill up the outline from
his own experience.
Every angler has his own whims and fancies about
the most eligible sections of rivers and streams. For
oui" own part, we like the districts of the Tay which
lie between Dunkeld and Kenmore best, for general
trout fishing. It is a pleasant section of the water
altogether, and has within its range every form of
the running watery element which can interest the
practical eye of the rod-fisher.
In the Dochart and Lochay are likewise fine ang-
ling streams. We have seen fine baskets of fish
taken in this direction. Almost any kind of flies
will prove tempting in this district. At Killin,
sixteen miles west of Kenmore, there is a waterfall,
which prevents salmon from getting higher up the
stream. They are often collected in great quantities
in this part of the river, and the country people take
them with bare hooks tied together, and let down
into the water by a plummet. There is likewise a
waterfall on the Lochay about three miles from its
junction with the Dochart.
Loch Tay, sixteen miles in length, contains fine
large trout of six and seven pounds weight, as well
as salmon, pike, and charr. This sheet of water is
of great depth in many parts. The Lyon river
enters the Tay at the east end of the loch, and has a
run of forty miles. It is a capital fishing stream for
both salmon and trout.
The Tummel is an important water, and runs
through a wild and interesting part of the country.
It rises in the moor of Rannoch, and is for some
distance called the Gauer. About eight or ten
miles down, it swells to a good sized stream, where
there is excellent rod-fishing. It passes through
Loch Batha and Loch Lydoch. In this locality the
scenery around is wild and imposing. The trout here
In the vicinity of Loch Lydoch, the Ericht river
joins the waters of the Tummel. This stream springs
from several lakes in the vicinity and is full sixteen
miles in length. There are good sized trout in all
these waters ; and to those who like the dreary and
sterile landscapes, they can have their fancy gratified
to the fuU. The whole country for miles round
has the most inhospitable aspect imaginable.
Loch Tummel contains large trout, and the ang-
ling is very good in it. The falls of the Tummel are
about four miles below the loch ; they are nearly
twenty feet in height, but salmon have been known
to get over them. There are fine yellow trout in
the river below these falls.
The Garry, springing from Loch Garry, has a run
of thirty miles, and the Erochkie, the Bruar, and
Tilt, are its chief feeders. There is beautiful fly-
fishing in all these streams, and almost any kind of
flies may be successfully used.
On the banks of the Garry stands the residence of
the Duke of Athol. The house was once fortified,
but is now a splendid modem building. There are
charming walks in the vicinity, and deep glens finely
wooded. The York cascade is a magnificent object,
and is most appropriately situated in the midst of
beautiful scenery. Eive miles south of Blair Athol
is the famous pass of Killiecrankie. It is very nar-
now, placed between two high mountains, with the
river running below, through a dark and rocky
channel, overhung with thick foliage, which imparts
to the whole scene a tinge of the awful and horrid.
Yet, a little beyond this, the landscape opens out
like fairy land, and sheds a lively and cheerful feel-
ing over the fancy and imagination.
It is a somewhat difficult path to pursue this river
into its more elevated localities. Success, however,
will amply repay the trouble. We see rocks pic-
turesquely grouped, between which the winding
stream rushes and breaks with great violence. The
top of these rocks. In some places, and the more
level banks of the river, are clothed with shady
trees on one side, and on the other are broken
into steeps and rugged rocks, which compose a
varied and romantic picture, seldom to be surpassed
in these mountainous countries. Tlie angling in all
these hilly districts is excellent ; and in the deep
pools, which are every way met with, if ruffled with
a gentle curl from any point of the compass, fine
large trout can be caught with the fly. In such
places, the fish are generally found in clear weather
about the skirts of the pools, especially if there be
large stones in their beds, or their sides be clothed
with shaded trees or bushes.
Eelow Dunkeld there are a number of lakes con-
nected with the Tay, which abound with trout, pike,
perch, &c. The principal of these are Loch Ard,
Loch Craiglush, Loch of the Lows, Butterstone Loch,
Loch Eotnel, Loch Oishnie, Loch Cluny, and Loch
Drumellie. The stream called the Braan, springing
out of Loch Freuchie, contains good trout.
The river Isla, which falls into the Tay, is
a fine fishing stream, in all its localities. The
feeders to this water are the Dean, the Ericht, and
the Sunan. These are aU first-rate rod-fishing
There is good fishing in the Ericht, in the vici-
nity of Blair— Go wrie. The beautiful valley of
Strathnfi^re is about eleven miles long and about
eight wide. The windings of the river are exceed-
ingly interesting ; for they seem peeping out from
intervening objects, and resemble a number of small
lakes scattered over the plain.
There are the remains of several Druidical tem-
ples in the parish. At the back of the manse, in 1 796,
there was a mote-hill, or circular mound, where, it
is said, Earl Gowrie held his regality courts.
There are also some cairns, in one of which, when
opened, a small stone coffin was foimd at the bottom;
and many tumuli run through the parish, l^ot far
from the village, commanding a fine view of Strath-
m\jre, is Kewton-house, built somewhat in the style
of a castle, on the foundation of the old house, in a
vault of which many gentlemen were saved while it
was burned down. Two modes of catching salmon
are practised on the Erich t, at this place. One is
by poke-nets. Towards twilight, the fishermen
throw into the stream, near the Keith Ealls, where
it runs through deep narrow channels among the
rocks, large quantities of black mould, until the
water becomes muddy. [N'ets, in the shape of pokes
or bags, are then put in the narrowest parts of the
stream, and in them the salmon are caught. The
other method is by pikes, or poles, and iron hooks
at the ends of them, with which the fishermen, on
a dark night, strike the fish the moment they are
attracted to the surface by the glare of torches held
from the rocks above the dark part of the stream.
The Keith falls are surprising objects in them-
selves. They have hollowed out deep channels in
the sandstone beds, of a circular form, and of consi-
derable dimensions. Some of these holes are thirty
feet in depth, and are called by the country people,
" giant's kettles," from an absurd notion that they
are the results of magic. In dry weather, the sal-
mon may be seen piled upon one another to an
amazing depth, waiting for a fresh in the river,
which they instinctively avail themselves of to
ascend farther up the waters.
The Earn is divided from the Tay hy no very
great extent of land. It is a copions stream. On
its hanks are to he seen some of the most suhlime
and extensive prospects which Scotland affords.
Moncrief Hill offers a most delightful view. You
see the Firth of Tay, the rich Carse of GowriCj and
the populous northern coast of Fife. "Westward
appear upper Strath-Earn and Strath- Tay; the
mountains behind which the ancient Celtfe retired
before the invading armies of Rome ; wide heaths ;
a variety of human habitations and tracts of wood,
give to the whole a rich and splendid appearance.
The Earn falls into the Tay below Perth.
On this river, six miles and a half from Ardoch,
there are two Roman camps ; one of them at Stra-
gcath, and the other in the neigbourhood of AYest
Dcalgin Ross, near the junction of the river Ruagh
Huil with the Earn. Both these stations are inter-
Loch Earn contains fine trout, is about six miles
in extent, and is encircled with beautiful scenery.
The Teith and the Allan are, properly speaking,
Perthshire rivers. The Teith is a considerable
stream, with a gravelly bottom, and a good stock of
salmon, salmon-trout, and common trout. It springs
out of the high grounds of Balquhidder, and is
divided into two separate streams. The one passes
through Lochs Yoil and Lubnaig; and the other
through Lochs Katrine, Achray, and Yennachar.
The junction of the two is near to Callender. The
Keltie, a small stream, but well stocked with trout,
falls into the main water, about four miles below
this town. All the lochs which the Teith flows
through are well provided with tr(Mit, some of which
are often taken of gigantic size. There are pike
and charr, but not numerous. Trolling in these
still waters is a most successful mode of taking large
fish. Besides the Keltie, there are the Eracklin
Burn, Stanack Burn, Loch Watston, and Loch Mag-
haig ; in all of which there is good angling.
The Allan is a fair trout stream, but not of any
great note. What fish we have seen in it have been
small, and likewise poor in quality.
Should the angler be rambling on the banks of
the little river Knaig, which is a feeder of the
Allan, he must turn aside to the village of Aidoch,
where he will find the remains of a Roman station,
the most perfect in Britain. It is supposed by
General Roy to have been founded by Agricola, in
one of his northern campaigns. In form it is rec-
tangular, and its dimensions are about 500 feet by
430 within the entrenchments. There are five
ditches and six ramparts. This is altogether a most
interesting object to the antiquarian and intelligent
rod-fisher. On the road to Crieff there are several
other Roman camps, of different magnitudes.
Let us pass on now to Aberdeenshire. The ang-
ling in this district is good, both for salmon and
trout. The chief rivers are the Dee, the TJrie, the
Don, the Deveron, and the Yethan. The best fish-
ing grounds for the fly fisher in all these rivers are
towards their sources. Larger fish are usually caught
nearer the sea, but greater quantities are taken in
more elevated parts of the waters. The angling is
here decidedly more pleasant, both for throwing the
line and landing the fish.
In the summer season, and when there has been a
long drought, these waters become shallow and
remarkably clear. At such a season the finest tackle
must be used. Small red and black palmers are the
best flies for the summer evenings, in bright weather.
The Dee, though a slender stream at its source,
soon becomes a considerable river, and flows through
a most interesting and delightful country. The
trout in its streams are uncommonly numerous,
especially about fifteen miles from its origin. In
the still portions of the water, when there is a fair
breeze, the largest fish will be found. After a
summer fresh, I have kno^vn an angler fill his basket
in a couple of hours, by the use of light-winged flies
and red bodies.
IS'ature seems to have been very lavish of many of
her treasures in the valleys of this mountain stream.
They possess a fertile soil, a cold but salubrious
climate, hills and plains well adapted to many kinds
of cultivation; while the river swarms with the
trout and the salmon, and the groves and forests
with deer and various kinds of wild birds of game.
Here also is excellent timber, and stone of the most
magnificent dimensions and quality, fit not only for
the building of barns and houses, but even of tem-
ples and palaces. Here might be raised, in quick
time, Saint Peter's of Home ; and the immense
blocks of granite, scattered with such profusion and
picturesque negligence, might, with a feeble aid of
the chisel, be raised to rival the pyramids of Mem-
phis or Palmyra. How deeply, too, does the saun-
tering angler feel the stillness and solitude of the
whole scene ! Here Zimmerman or La Fontaine
might in reality have painted solitude, with less
speculative refinement, but with more truth. Per-
haps, however, these distinguished authors would
not have been so generally read and esteemed ; for,
in everything connected with human affections and
emotions, fashionable caricature and simpering affec-
tation, will, to some extent, always claim the pre-
eminence over nature and simplicity.
The City of Aberdeen, now easily and speedily
accessible by railway, is an excellent fishing station
for the tourist, because it places him in the imme-
diate vicinity of the two chief rivers of the county
— the Dee and the Don. There are good turnpike
roads, which run often parallel with these rivers for
considerable distances, in various sections of their
course ; so that he can have every facility for trans-
porting himself to any particular part where he
wishes to commence his sport.
But should the angler be in the western districts
of Perthshire, he has an easy access to the higher
waters of the Dee, by travelling a few miles over
the mountain country in the direction of Glen Carry
and Marr Porest. He must cross the Grampian
chain ; and by keeping a north-eastern route from
the Perthshire borders, he will arrive, after a walk
of about fifteen miles, at ITewton, which is just
upon the first waters of the Dee. The mountain
range, from which it springs, is here full four thou-
sand feet above the level of the sea. The river has
a range of about one hundred miles.
Before it arrives at Balliter, a most delightfully
situated village, it has received the waters of the
Clunie, Gairn, Muick, Geldie, and other rivulets of
less note. There is a good stock of small trout in
all these feeders ; but fair rod- fishing is unfailingly
found in the neighbourhood of BaUiter. There are
likewise in this vicinity several lochs ; among the
number are Brodichan, Dhu, and Muick, all famous
for trout The general scenery among these lochs
and streams is of the most wild and interesting kind.
It makes so deep an impression on the mind of a
stranger, that it is seldom forgotten for years after.
It was in this locality that Lord Byron lived in his
early days, and where he
— " roved, a young Highlander, o'er the dark heath,
And climb' d thy steep summit, 0, Morgen, of snow.
To gaze on the torrents that thunder' d beneath,
Or the mist of the tempest that gather'd below."
Lower down the main river, the Dinnet Bum
enters it near to Aboyne ; and the lochs Cannord,
Leys, and Dawan, are in the same neighbourhood.
These contain pike and perch, but few trout. The
streams of the Dee from Balliter to below Aboyne,
are among some of the very best for rod-fishing in
the entire range of the river. There are only three
or four smaU feeders which fall into it, between here
and the ocean. The angler will find accommodation
and refreshments at Castleton, Balliter, Aboyne, and
Kirkardine O'l^Teil. These several places are excel-
lent stations for a day or two's sport. There are
good artificial flies to be had both at Aberdeen and
at most of the small towns and villages along the
banks of the Dee.
The river Don, which enters the sea at Old Aber-
deen, has a higher reputation among anglers than
the Dee. It has a range of sixty miles, and springs
from the high country in the vicinity of Corgraff,
where there are the remains of an old castle. The
Bucket and Esset are two of its first feeders, besides
several small burns or rivulets. The fishing in the
main stream is good, but the trout are small. The
scenery in this locality is of the most wild and strik-
ing description. The glens through which the water
rushes are deep and frowning, and, in some spots,
densely overhung with birch trees. In some of the
deep pools, fine yellow trout are sometimes taken of
a very large size.
The Urr river, which has a range of twenty
miles, joins the Don at the pleasant village of Inver-
ury. This is a stream in high repute among rod-
fishers. Trout of five and six pounds are often taken
out of it. Its chief tributaries are the Kellack, Cal-
pie, Shevock, and Gady ; in all of which there is
soraetimes good fishing with worm.
Salmon fishing with the rod, in the Don and its
several dependent waters, was, a few years ago,
much better than it is now ; but when the streams
are in good trim, there is still a tolerable field for
sport with the monarch of the rivers. Monymusk,
Alford, Inverury, and Kintore, are stations where
the tourist can obtain his wonted comforts, and be
in the vicinity of good fishing waters.
Speaking of the ordinary accommodation for
angling tourists in the higher parts of the Don, we
well remember, some years ago, falling in with a
distinguished professor at Balliter, as well known
for his wit as for his skill in the ^'gentle craft;"
when the conversation turned upon the general want
of cleanliness, both in the personal habits of the
people, and in the places of *' entertainment for man
and beast," in this district of Scotland. Our friend
the professor, to our great amusement, handled the
argument much in this fashion : — '' The world has
long been prejudiced and addle-headed on this ques-
tion. We owe everything in the world to dirt —
real wealth and true liberty, from the sweating
miner to the oily blacksmith — ^from the sailor at
work to the garret-inhabiting author. jN'othing
valuable comes from white kids and eau-de- cologne.
I can prove my point from a thousand instances.
"What an immense phalanx — nay, a very galaxy of
dirty eminence — can we not muster ! The personal
negligence and snuffy nose of Frederic the Great —
the greasy flannel jacket of Suwarrow — the filth of
Charles XII., who combed his hair with his fingers,
and buttered his bread with his thumbs — the queer
breeches of I^apoleon, and the frequent three-weeks'
unwashedness of his campaigns, walking or riding
all day long, with a hat like a scavenger's, and a
beard like a Jew's — and even Louis XIY., the most
luxurious and sumptuous of sovereigns, was so
attached to his soiled shirts, that Madame de Main-
tenon had often to get into a violent passion before
he would have clean linen brought him. And
similar illustrations can be brought from every walk
of life — men of business — of letters — of the fine
arts. You all know IS'athaniel Eentley, of Leaden-
hall- street, otherwise Dirty Bich, the hardwareman,
who, when somebody remonstrated with him for his
dirty hands, made use of the observation that Dean
Swift's servant made, ' It's of no use, sir ; if I wash
my hands to-day, they will be dirty again to-mor-
row.' Who can forget George Morland, with his
apartment like a pig stye, and himself like one of
the pigs ? Wlio is not mindful of Barry — the im-
mortal Barry — ^buried up to the ears in dirt, and
living in an immense house, like a spider enveloped
in cobwebs ? Savage was dirty enough, too, not to be
miscalled by his surname. It was the love of dirt
that caused Prior to be so fond of smoking his pipe
with a soldier and his wife in Long-acre. The feel-
ing caused Parson to be a constant visitor at the
Cyder Cellar, in Maiden Lane, and that drove Kean
to the Coal-Hole. Look at Doctor Johnson coming
down stairs at 12 o'clock in the day, all steaming
and shining with the sweat and grease of his pro-
tracted slumbers ! lN"ow, what does this great
moralist of his age, and of all coming ages, say on
the matter ? These are his words : ^ Cleanliness,
sir, is the penance which folly pays for its obedience
to fashion. This wig of curtailed dimensions, and
this coat of antique cut, are covered with half a
century's accumulated dust. Eut comfort does not
flow from the constant powdering, combing, and
curling of the hair ; neither is it to be obtained from
the perpetual rubbing of the clothes-brush, nor from
the idle vanity of a weekly recurrence to the tailor.
^N'either broad cloth nor new curls give me half so
much ease as the untouched dirt of my old coat, and
the uncurled dishabille of my little wig.' So, gentle-
men, is it with what we see around us here. We
must not conclude that all that we see neat and
precise is really useful, and contributes to real hap-
piness ; nor all that may offend our tastes and senses
is pernicious and useless."
In skirting along the north-east from Aberdeen,
we meet with the Ythan, the Ituna of the Bomans.
It springs out of the parish of Forgue, and has a
run of fuU twenty-five miles. It is a capital salmon
and trouting stream. Its chief tributaries are the
Ebrie, Brony, and Eoveran, in all of which there is
good rod-fishing, and the country on and around
their banks is very beautiful and interesting. Loch
Muckle lies near its entrance into the ocean.
Further north, at the distance of about fifteen
miles, the river Ugie enters the sea, in the vicinity
of Peterhead. It is divided into two branches in a
certain portion of its course, called the north and
south Ugies. These join at Langside, about four
miles from the sea. There is a fair quantity of
trout in them, and some of good size. Loch Strath-
beg, lying between Praserburgh and Eattray, con-
tains good red and yellow trout.
Banffshire is commonly associated with Aberdeen-
shire. We shall join a notice of its rivers with
those of Morayshire, Kairn, and Inverness-shire.
These counties, for angling rambles, are all tied or
laced together, and afford a wide and interesting
range for piscatory recreations.
The Devoran has its rise in the hilly parts of
Aberdeenshire and Eanffshire, and runs a course of
about thirty-five miles to the sea. It is an excel-
lent river for sport ; both for salmon and trout fish-
ing. It has several tributaries of importance. Pro-
ceeding from its higher waters, the first stream we
meet with is the Bogie, of fifteen miles^ extent. It
joins the main river at Eothiemay. The streams of
the Bogie, which lie between Gartly and Arnhill,
are very prolific of fine trout. Below Eothiemay,
the feeders called the Forgue Bum, Turriff, and
King Edward's Waters, enter the Devoran, and are
aU highly esteemed as angling streams. Light
coloured flies are killing in these waters.
Passing to the north and west from the Devoran,
we come to the Spey, one of the principal rivers of
Scotland, possessing all the characteristics, in a high
degree, of a real Highland stream. It has become
of great repute among fashionable anglers of late
years ; and it is unquestionably a very noble water
for piscatory exploits. This wild and rushing river
rises out of a sheet of water called Loch Spey, near
to Eadenoch and Genroy, in Inverness-shii'c. We
are told by Colonel Thornton, that there was a pike
taken out of this loch of the astonishing weight of
07ie hundred and forty -six pounds y and that he him-
self caught one o^ forty -eight. The entire length of
the Spey has been variously estimated from eighty
to one hundred miles. For the first twenty miles
of its course, it flows through a singularly wild and
mountainous region, full of interest to the lover of
this kind of sceneiy. Before, and in the vicinity of,
the small village, where the angler can find rather
roughish accommodation, called Kingussie, the Spey
receives the waters of three feeders, Calder, Trium,
and Tromie waters, the two latter of which spring
from Lochs Quich, Yroltan, and Turlich, which
abound mth rich and large trout. These feeders
are in summer often so low that rod-fishing is out of
the question ; but after rain, when the waters are
subsiding, it is quite marvellous what quantities of
fish can be taken out of them in two or three hours.
Everj^thing that bears the most distant resemblance
to a fly, is greedily seized ; indeed, one grows abso-
lutely tired with the sport. AYe are apt to lie down
on some heathy knoll, and gaze on the shadows
chasing each other along the mountain's brow.
How grand are some of the sky- views in this neigh-
bourhood in the montlis of July^ August, and Sep-
tember ? How gorgeous and rivetting to the imagi-
nation? The sun, perchance, is wheeling behind
the mountains. Already his broad shade begins to
fall down upon the plain. The side of the hill is
solemn and sad. Its ridges stand sharp against a
fine bright sky. Here and there we espy, by a
strained effort of vision, a shepherd and his dog
skirting their way among the heath. In various
directions of the heavens Ave see slowly sailing con-
tinents of magnificent fleecy mountains — Alps and
Andes of vapour. One you see cast upon the breast
of yonder hill far to the east, while the base is
radiant with the sun. This, too, has its broad sha-
dow. Another heavy mass is moving with slow and
stately grandeur along the valley, and if we rise to
a little more elevated platform, we shall see the
brilliant landscape growing dull in its sudden
obscuration on its forward line, and growing as sud-
denly bright upon its rear trace. How solemnly
and majestically that shadow travels up those steep
and precipitous mountain sides ; how it scoops dovm
the gorge and valley ; how it moves along the plain !
"What a fine room for study this is ; more glowing
and inspiring than if we had had all the invaluable
contents of the Vatican library at our elbow. We
have forgotten all about the fish in the stream ;
about flies, and lines, and salmon, and trout, and
pike, and charr. We have been fishing in the clouds,
and brought home a full creel for an intellectual
repast, at the end of the day's journey.
The Spey passes through Loch Inch, and at a
short distance is joined by another feeder called
Pleshie Water, which springs from the hills in the
neighbourhood of the Forest of Bademoch, and has a
sweep of about fifteen miles. It is a good trouting
stream in the summer months, when its waters are
in order. In the immediate vicinity, and connected
with the Spey, are Lochs Alvie, Morlich, Rothiemur-
cus, Pittenlish, and Garten, which contain trout and
pike in considerable quantities. The streams of the Spey
from Kingussie to Aviemore, where there is an Inn
for the accommodation of travellers, arc of a first-
rate character for rod-angling. The banks of the
river in this section of its course are exceedingly
beautiful. We have every here and there stripes of
well-cultivated land ; while in the distant landscape
the Grampian mountains tower with majestic gran-
deur, their bases being well clothed with dense
forests of waving pine, and their summits present
the most bleak and inhospitable aspect.
The Dulnain river pours its waters into the Spey
about a mile and-a-half above Grantown. This tri-
butary springs out of the mountains of Manash Lea,
and has a trouting range of about twelve miles. On
the Banff side of the Spey, we find another of its
feeders, the Aven, which runs a distance of nearly
forty miles, through a highly romantic and interest-
ing locality. Its feeders are Livet, Crombie, and
Tervie waters ; besides, several small lochs are con-
nected with it, in which there are both fine trout
and pike. Loch. Bulg is the most highly esteemed
of these mountain tarns.
The riddich is another of the feeders of the Spey,
and is a good fishing water. The stream called
the DuUen runs into it. The angler will find ample
and comfortable accommodation in all the lower sec-
tions of the Spey. Our own practice as to flies, we
have generally used those of a gaudy colour.
The Lossie is a pleasant fishing river. It springs
from the confluence of several small rivulets or bums
in the heart of the county. It runs through Loch
Trevie, and is likewise connected with Lochs Dallas,
!N'oir, and Eheninver, in all of which there are fine
trout. The entire range of the Lossie is twenty-five
miles ; and its chief tributaries are Glen Latteragh,
and the Lochly and Lenoch Eums.
When the angler crosses the Lossie, and enters
into the rich plain of Moray, he will obtain a
delightful glimpse of the mountains of Eoss and
Sutherlandshire, and the magnificent entrance into
the bay of Cromarty. This is a captivating land-
The scenery a little below this locality is also very
magnificent. In looking down the river, in the
softness of a declining sun in July, we see above us
on the left a high hill, with its rocky points and
wooded recesses. The light flows, gleaming and
touching the ground, and here and there setting on
the leafage of the trees which hang over the water.
The tints over the hill, assuming a more aeriel form
towards the summit, become more interesting and
striking; and a churcli steeple, in a little secluded
village, wrapped in sylvan retirement, lulls the
fancy into a delicious reverie. The light and waving
trees and shrubs, some with large, round, distinctly
pencilled up^shootings, and others with pendant
and taper leaves, seem to hold communion with the
waters — to be invested with vitality and life, and to
be the smiling, living witnesses of their play and
beauty, and listeners of their soothing music.
The Findhom rises in Inverness- shire, and runs
through Morayshire near its western boundary*
G-reat quantities of timber are floated down streams
from the extensive forests in the interior of the
county. A considerable number of salmon are caught
in this river, but the fishery is not near so valuable
as that of the Spey. When the Findhorn is in
good trim, it is no uncommon achievement to kiU.
ten or twelve dozen of good trout in a few hours.
The best flies for this river are light wings, and red
and black bodies ; but when the fish are taking,
great nicety in this particidar is not requisite.
The Findhorn has a range of sixty miles. To
angle this river and its tributaries is a most delight-
ful summer tour. It rises among the Monad group
of mountains in Inverness- shire. It is a wild and
dashing stream, with a rocky channel, and hemmed
in with bold and rugged banks, which, in some loca-
lities, stand out from the river's sides, like high
walls and towers. It is likewise subject to great
and sudden inundations, which sweep all before
them with irresistible devastation.
We prefer tlie higlier waters of the stream to
those near the sea. The yellow trout are to be
found in tolerable abundance in some particular sec-
tions of the river. Its feeders are the Moy "Water,
which flows from Loch Moy, and the Bruach, from
Loch Eruach ; in both of which streams and lochs
there is good trout. A short distance from Dulsie
Eridge, the Pallanshock runs into the Pindhom,
and a little lower down the Darback, which springs
from Loch-an-Darb, in the vicinity of which there
is a cluster of sm.all tarns, in which good trout and
pike are occasionally found. The stream called
Muckle Bum, situated at the mouth of the main
river, has both salmon and salmon-trout in it ; and
in some states or conditions of the water, large bas-
kets offish are taken out of it.
The jN'airn lies between the Pindhom and the
Moray Pirth, and is a good piscatory stream. It
has a range of thirty- five miles, and springs from
the neighbourhood of Cairn Gregor, in the county
of Inverness. It has some small feeders, but the
Cawdor Burn is the principal one. The common
trout, the sea- trout, and the salmon, form the staples
of its waters.
Supposing that an angling tourist wishes to con-
fine his rod exploits to the varied waters directly
connected with the route of the Caledonian Canal,
we shall dot down one or two sentences for his espe-
Loch Linnhe is bounded on one side by the rocky
eminences of Appin, and on the other by the hiUs of
Morven, and presents, in almost every direction,
scenery of the most interesting and romantic descrip-
tion. The neighbourhood is stndded with many
gentlemen's seats, some of which possess consider-
able interest from historical associations. Caran
Ferry divides Loch Linnhe from Loch Eil. When
the angler arrives at Port William, or at the village
of Marybnrgh, which is near to it, he will find the
river Lochy, which, if he feels inclined, he can
ascend, and he will be sure to meet with abundant
sport in its streams, both for salmon and trout. In
no part of Scotland can a day or two be more plea-
santly and successfully employed in angling, than in
a ramble along the banks of this river. Here, too,
stands Ben I^evis — an interesting object to all lovers
of Alpine scenery. On its northern side, this cele-
brated Scottish mountain is divided into two divi-
sions or terraces ; the one situated at the height of
nearly 1,800 feet, and the other from this point to
its summit. At the top of this first division there
is a lake or tarn, in which it is said fine trout have
occasionally been caught. The higher parts of the
mountain present a scene of rocky and wild desola-
tion. The traveller's path is intercepted in every
direction by huge granitic masses, which are often
so wedged together that the ascent becomes difficult,
and in some spots dangerous. Here all vegetable
life seems extinct, with the exception of a few
Alpine plants, which may be seen fringed around
the borders of some pellucid spring. There is an
awful precipice on the north-eastern side, of
nearly 1,500 feet in height. Should the atmosphere
be clear, the view from the summit of the mountain
is grand and extensive. We see Een Lomond, Een
Cruachan, Een More, Een Lawers, and a vast variety
of other less aspiring elevations, which come within
the range of the visible horizon.
The angler will find Loch Lochy and Loch Oich
both fair sheets of water for angling. Very large
pike are often taken out of these lakes. Trout are,
however, not so plentiful here, as in some other
lochs in this part of the kingdom. Prom Loch Oich
the steamboat goes on to Loch IsTess, which is
twenty-four miles in length, and, upon the average,
about a mile and a quarter in breadth. Opposite to
Port Augustus, the river Sirff falls into it, and the
angler wiU find this an excellent stream for the rod.
Its banks are in many spots singularly wild and
romantic. About midway down the loch, the river
Eoyers empties its waters into it, and this, too, will
be found a good fishing station. The falls of this
stream have been long famous. The waters dash
over a cataract of 212 feet in height, and send up a
sheet of spray of dazzling whiteness. !N"othing can
be more grand and imposing. The banks of the
river abound with the most wild and stupendous
rocky chasms and eminences, many of which are
beautifully ornamented with the birch and the ash.
Should the angler take the entire route of the
Caledonian Canal, he ought to pay a visit to the
chief mountains in the district — Een !N"evis, 4,370
feet in height, and Mealfourvonie, upwards of 3,000.
The former is separated from the great chain of the
Grampians by a wild and desolate tract called Moor
Eannoch. The mountain is easily ascended by the
western side ; and at the height of fifteen hundred
feet, the prospect opens out, and displays to the
traveller's eye the Paps of Jura, and several of the
Hebride islands. At two thousand feet all vegeta-
tion ceases ; and near the summit the snow, in con-
siderable depth, is found throughout the whole year.
From its highest point, the visible horizon embraces
an area of 120 miles. The mountain of Mealfour-
vonie is not near so high as Ben N'evis, but it stands
in an imposing locality, and is a very sublime fea-
ture of nature. *' The view from the summit is of
vast extent, and highly impressive. "We stand in
the midst of an amphitheatre of hills, old as the
creation, and command a view of the Caledonian
Yalley, or Great Glen of Albin. The whole course
of the canal, with its chain of lakes — Loch !N"ess,
Loch Oich, and Loch Lochy — were at our feet,
extending in a direct silvery line of sixty miles.
Six lakes, and numerous tarns, or pools, were in
front; and in the gorge, through which the river
Foyers rushes, the top of the fall was visible like
a white streamer. Een Kevis, and the mountains of
Skye, Kintail, Strathgiass, and round to Ben "Wyvis,
formed a sublime rampart. All of them were more
or less covered with snow, and their variously
shaped peaks and forms rose tier above tier, undu-
lating against the sky, some clear and sunny, others
dark and rugged. The coldness of the atmosphere
at this elevation did not permit us to stay long, and
we descended, not without danger, by the western
side. Birds were singing abont half-way down, but
we saw only the gled, or Icite, wheeling about."
Inverness-shire is an excellent district for pisca-
tory rambles and sport. The chief rivers are the
Oich, the Ness, the Dundreggan, the Foyers, the
Beauly, and the Clannie. There is splendid angling
in all these waters for salmon and trout.
The river !N'ess, which connects Loch IsTess with
the Moray Pirth, is only about eight miles in extent,
but it is an excellent piece of water, particularly
for salmon fishing. Great quantities of this fish
have been taken out of it of late years with the rod.
It is commonly in the hands of private persons, who
rent it for sporting recreations. The fish take so
readily here, that all kinds of flies may be used with
equal chances of success. There is good accommo-
dation in the neighbourhood for travellers.
The Beauly is a favourite river for the angler.
It springs from several feeders, the chief of which
are the Earrar, the Glass, and the Cannich. All
these separate streams are connected with lakes,
through which they pass, or rise out of. The Glass
communicates with Lochs AfFraric and Benevian ;
the Cannich runs through Loch Moyley ; and the
Farrar is joined with Lochs Monar and Muille.
There is abundance of fine trout in all these waters.
Loch Bruiach is likewise highly in repute for its
charr, and for no less than seven distinct species of
trout. ISTear to this sheet of water is Loch lN"eattie,
wHch contains pike, as well as cliarr and trout.
Lochs Gorm, Lochnambrodarg, and Loch Carnaba-
tan, are likewise fair fishing lakes.
The fall of Kilmarac, on the Eeauly, is exceed-
ingly interesting, both to the angler and lover of
nature's charms. It is one of the finest salmon leaps
in the kingdom. The mountain passes are magnifi-
cent, and the scenery around picturesque. The
rocks by the sides of the stream rise to a great eleva-
tion, and their bases are shaded with native timber,
of rich foilage and vigorous growth. Here the eagle
perches his ejTy, and the wood- cat and the otter
take up their abode. The salmon run with such
violence up this fall that they often kill themselves
with their supernatural efibrts. It was here that
the Prazers of Lovat, lords of the manor, were
wont to entertain their guests with a voluntarily
cooked salmon. A kettle was placed on the south
side of the fall, and kept full of boiling water. On
a portion of the rock, left dry by the waters, tents
were erected for the accommodation of the visitors.
Here the party waited until a luckless salmon fell
into the kettle, and was cooked in their presence.
The number of salmon in this locality is, in par-
ticular seasons of the year, quite astounding. The
wild cats and otters destroy a great number. There
are often seventy and eighty fish taken with a small
net at one haul.
In spite of the fall, or we might say falls, for
there are two of them, the one about nine, and the
other twelve feet high, some salmon succeed in get-
ting up to the higher localities of the main river,
and its chief tributaries.
We have often wondered, whilst wandering by
these rivers, what the ideas of the Eomans could
have been, as to the nature of Scotland south of the
Grampians, relative to its rich store of fish — an arti-
cle of such sumptuous luxury in Rome and other
cities in Italy. We think they must have been
both surprised and delighted at the quantities of
their most expensive food, found in such varied and
rich abundance in every rivulet and mountain lake.
They must have had many a luxurious meal on the
salmon and trout of the Tweed, the Forth, and the
Clyde. They were, without exception, the most
extravagant people, in regard to fish, of whom we
have any record. The accounts of their Vivaria^ or
fish ponds, are, to this hour, matters of surprise,
amounting almost to incredulity. To keep fish be-
came quite a mania of the wildest kind among the
nobility of the country. The most wealthy and dis-
tinguished characters wasted their time and fortunes
on these childish and insane projects of stews or
ponds, as we may learn from Cicero, who, ironically,
calls Luculus, Hortensius, and Phillippus, the
'^ Tritons of the fish ponds." The folly extended to
such a pitch, that reservoirs for fish were constructed
on the roofs of dwelling-houses ; while others, again,
not daring to soar so high, contented themselves
with bringing river water into their dining-rooms,
where vessels for the reception of fish were so made.
as to enable the master of tlie house to pick them out
a few moments before they were served up at table.
Yarro relates some singular particulars about the
love which Hortensius had for his fish. He acted with
regard to them just as misers do with respect to
their money, not daring to make use of it. The
orator used to buy fish at the neighbouring towns
rather than use his own. ^NTot satisfied with sparing
them, by prohibiting them to be killed for his own
repast, he used to have them fed very plentifully
and delicately, ^or was it enough that he did not
eat of the fish of his own ponds, he himself feeding
them very carefully. ^ * * Such was Hor-
tensius' s turn of mind, that he would sooner have
given the mules out of his own stable than a mullet
out of his fish pond. He was equally solicitous
of the health of his fish as of that of his own ser-
vants, and when any one of these was sick, he was
less anxious about his having fresh water than about
the ordering it for his fish.*'
This old Eoman writer's account of his own
speculations in fish-ponds has often struck us as con-
taining something both curious and quaint. When
he was in his eightieth year, he took to writing
his book on rural afiairs, and he dedicated it to his
wife, as it pointed out how she would be able to
make something of their farm, when his head was
laid low. He says, " We have no time, my dear, to
loose ; if man^s estate be, as we are told it is, a soap
bubble at the best, much it behoves an old fellow
* De Rustica.
like me, whose eightieth birth- day is at hand,
speedily to put his house iu order, before he departs
out of life." He then proceeds to descant on a variety
of farming matters, and on the advantages to be de-
rived from economic fish ponds.
Among the Romans the love of fish, as an article
of food, was likewise quite a passion. Pliny tells us
that the great epicures among this people preferred
the scare to every other kind of fish. The eel-pout,
or lotos- liver, was the next in estimation. The red
mullet Avas in high favour, from the fact, that
when the scales are removed from this fish, it still
retains a fine pink colour. ''The fops of Eome
having remarked that, at the death, this colour
passed through a succession of the most beautiful
shades, the poor mullet was served alive, inclosed in
a glass vessel ; and the guests, attentive and greedy
of emotions, enjoyed this cruel spectacle, which pre-
sented to them a gradation of colours which insensi-
bly disappeared."* It is further stated, in reference
to this fish, that '* the greatest sensualists killed it
in brine, and Apicius was the first who invented
this kind of luxury. The brine most in use, in such
cases, was made with the blood of mackerel, and
that was one of the varieties of that famous garum,
so highly praised by the Latin authors, and which
was to them, at that period, what the fish sauces of
the English are now."f
♦ Seneca. Quoet. Natuvel, 3, 17, 18w
f Soyer's Fantropheon, p. 213.
Apicius offered a prize to any one who would
invent a new brine, made with the liver of red mul-
lets. Juvenal informs us that Asinius Celer offered
sixty pounds for one of these fish which weighed six
In the reign of Domitian, there was a prodigious
large turbot caught, such as had never before been
seen. It was ordered to the imperial kitchen. The
Emperor convoked the Senate to consider in what
dish it should be cooked, and served up entire. The
deliberation was long and stormy ; all Kome was in
a state of excitement by the debate ; and the august
body of Senators endeavoured to prove itself worthy
of the confidence reposed in them by CaBsar. They
were unanimous in their resolutions that a dish
should be made expressly for this enormous fish,
since there were none large enough ready made ; and
also that a stove should be constructed sufficiently
capacious to allow the dish to be conveniently placed
upon it. The Emperor, the city, and the whole court,
applauded the singular sagacity of the Senate ; and
^' le turhot fut mis a la sauce piqiiani ."
Many of the Latin poets make allusions to these
extravagant whims about fish.
** Grandes rhombi patinajque
Grande ferunt una cum damno dedecus."
^' Quamvis lata gerat patella rhombum,
Ehombus latior est tamen patellas."
* Juvenal, 4, 11.
'' Great turbots and late suppers lead
To debt, disgrace, and abject need.
The border of tlie broadest dish
Lay hid beneath the monster fish."
In tlie southern sections of the county of Inver-
ness, there are several lochs and small streams, more
or less connected with them, in which there is an
abundance of fish. The chief of these inland lakes
are Loch Quoich, Loch Ark op, Loch Chinie, Loch
Shiel, Loch Eylt, Loch Duich, Loch Marrer, Loch
Hourn, and Loch Alsh. There are likewise a few
small lakes and rivulets in the Isle of Sky, separated
from the main land of Inverness-shire by the narrow
strait called the Sowncl of Sleat, which will afford the
tourist some sport. The scenery of the island, which
is forty-five miles in length, and about five or six
in breadth, is magnificent, and certainly not sur-
passed by any portion of the Highlands. Portree is
the principal town, but the angler may obtain accom-
modation at Eroadford, Stein, and Kyle-akin. "We
once saw a most splendid basket of red trout taken
out of the streams in the vicinity of Portree, aver-
aging upwards of three quarters of a pound each.
They were all captured by gaudy flies.
When the angler is on the Beauly, he is little
more than a stone throw from the rivers of Eoss and
Cromarty The chief of these is t\\Q Conan, which
traverses a section of the county of five-and-thirty
miles in extent. It springs out of a lake called
Loch Eoshk, or Chroisg, situated in the most wild
and unfrequented part of this Highland district.
The entire valley of the Conan presents a constant
succession of splendid scenery — rapid and abrupt
alternations of sublimity and beanty.
i'roni the source of the river to where it is joined
by the stream the Meig, a little below Upper Scat-
well, the fishing is excellent, both in the main
stream and in the lakes through which it passes. In
this route the angler will come to a small lake called
Loch Ledgowan, containing large trout and pike,
and near to which is Loch Achin, in high repute
among those anglers who delight in trolling for large
fish. Three or four miles to the west of Straith
Eran lies Loch Fannich, or Fannish, twelve miles in
length, and abounding with large and splendid fish.
The Conan runs through Loch Luichart, a sheet of
water about six miles in extent, in which there is
capital angling. JSTot far below, there is a grand
and imposing waterfall, which efiectually prevents
salmon from ascending any higher up the river. The
Meig has a run of fifteen miles ; it flows through
Loch Benachan, and abounds with a vast multitude
of smallish but rich trout. To designate its banks
as wild and romantic, are but poor tenns for convey-
ing anything like an ade(]^uate conception of them.
They must be rambled over to be known, and their
varied beauties appreciated.
From the junction of the Meig to Muirtown,
there is a succession of fine stretches of angling
water ; and large fish are often taken out of them.
The stream called the llasay, or Black Water, enters
the chief river a little below this place. It springs
out of a stretch of country called Strath- Yaicli, near
to which Lochs Broom, Tolimuir, and Garragan are
situated, in all of which there are good trout and
pike. The stream itself forms several small lakes in
its route, which abound with trout and pike of great
size, and in which there is capital sport with the
rod at almost all times of the fishing season. The
Tails of Eossie, on the Easay, are beautiful. Salmon,
when the floods are great, can get above them, but
this is not often. As the angler approaches near to
the sea, the Conan affords a rich field for sport in
finnocks at certain seasons, and in sea-trout and
grilse. The fish take the fly very readily in these
waters. We have seen all kinds of colours used.
The stream^ called the Orrin enters the Conan
three miles below Contin. It is a good trout stream,
has a run of fifteen miles, and springs out of the
high grounds of Glen Orrin. Its banks are singu-
larly romantic and interesting. The Peffery Burn,
near Dingwall, the Ault-graad and Skiack, in the
vicinity of Kiltearn, and the Balnagown and Alness
"Waters, are all more or less abundant with trout and
salmon, and are much frequented by anglers in . the
neighbourhood. Loch Glass, about six miles long,
and Loch Moir, about four, contain very large trout.
In the western parts of the county, in the parishes
of Loch Carron, Applecross, Gairloch, and Loch
Broom, there are fine sheets of water, well stocked
with trout and pike, and some with salmon. The
chief of these fishing waters are Loch Ling, Loch
Carron, into which the river Carron flows, after a
run of twelve miles, through a hilly and wild dis-
trict, Loch Taniif, Loch Maree, Loch Fuir, Loch-na
Shallag, and Loch Broom.
There are good accommodations in the various
localities of Eoss-shii'e where angling tourists fre-
quent. We remember of once getting some trout
cooked at an inn at Stittingham, the deliciousness of
which still lingers on theassociations of our palate,
and nearly makes one in love with the Eoman Ca-
tholic's forty days' penance on fish. Ey the way,
what curious records of legislation these sumptuary laws
appear to us now-a-days, relative to the use of fish,
and which were in full force for a long period both
in England and in France? Under the reign of
Edward 11. , certain fish never appeared in England
but on the table of the king ; thc}^ were prohibited
to all others. In 1138, Stephen wanted to modify
this exclusive right; but, after his death, it was
again revived, and considered as a royal prerogative.
In former times there was a remarkable consump-
tion of fish in England on the 4th July, the festival
of St. Ulric. This is mentioned by Earnaby Gouge,
in the following lines : —
" Wheresoever Iluldyche hath a place, the people there
Both capes and pykes, and mullets fat, his favour here to win.
Amid the Church there sitteth one, and to the aultar nie,
That sellcth fish, and so good cheep, that every man may
Nor anything he loseth here, bestowing thus his paine,
For wlien it hatli been offered once, 't is brought to him againe,
That twise or thrisc he selles the same, vngodlinesse such gaine
Both still bring in, and plentiously the kitclion doth maintaine.
Whence comes this same religion newe ? What kind of God
is this ?
Some Huldyche here, that so desires and so delightes in fishe."*
Tlic sumptuary enactments of Edward YI. and
Elizabeth were as stringent ariK^^c days of Papal
ascendency. The statutes of Edward (cap. 6) aim
at maintaining with great rigour the better observ-
ance of Eridays and Saturdays, and other days of
accustomed abstinence ; and likewise for other two
purposes : that fishermen may be set to work, and
that much flesh may be saved ^ and increased. In
addition to Eridays and Saturdays, Elizabeth added
Wednesdays, allowing, however, on this day, one
dish of flesh, providing there were consumed at the
same meal three dishes of sea-fish. At certain seasons
this indulgence did not extend to heef or veal.
The sumptuary laws of Erance ordained (1294)
that a meagre-dinner should consist of two herring-
pottages, and only one sort -of fish. Louis XII.,
who was a great epicure, appointed six fishmongers
to supply his table with fresh- water fish ; Erancis I.
had twenty-two, and Henry the Great twenty-four.
In the reign of Louis XIY., there was quite a mania
about fish, chiefly from the circumstance that one of
the royal cooks to the monarch had acquired the
marvellous talent of cooking all kinds of fish so as to
taste like the most delicate game. And Ave have a
* The Popish Kingdome, foL 55.
story grounded on this circumstance respecting
Yatel, one of the most illustrious officers of the
Prince of Conde. This Major-domo understood that
a dinner without iishwas a heartless and cheerless one.
One day, when his noble master entertained Louis
XIY. at a royal banquet, at Chantilly, which the
genius of Yatel rendered more brilliant, the fish
from the coast failed ; he sent everywhere, but none
could be procured. He was at his wit's end ; he
met his august master, whose kind words, full of
benevolence, only served to increase his distress and
bewilderment. He left him ; ran to his chamber,
took his sword, and three times pierced his heart !
Shortlj^ after fish arrived from all quarters ; Yatel
was called — no Yatel ! He was sought for, and at
last discovered — Yatel was no more !
The County of Sutherland presents a splendid
range for the angler. It embraces an extent of
between sixty and seventy miles in length, by near-
ly fifty in extreme breadth. To perambulate this
district fairly and fully with the rod in hand, is
the work of an entire fishing season. Where time
and opportunity allow this to be done, it will prove
one of the richest piscatory treats that a sports-
man can meet with in any part of the world. To
accomplish this task i3leasantly, and really benefi-
cially, there is nothing like walking ; and next to
this, a Highland Pony ; — an assistant which gets
you over the ground more rapidly, and diminishes
the quantum of bodily fatigue. Eut it must be
borne in mind that, with a horse of any kind, the
tourist is often prevented from exploring particular
spots of the country possessing great attractions and
beauties, and by the necessity he is under, of always
looking after bis steed, no matter what may be the
bent of his movements, he is often compelled to go
in one direction when his inclination leads him in
another. A horse only bears our burden occasionally,
but we have to bear his constantly.
In passing out of Boss- shire, we meet with the
Oikel, which falls into the Darnoch Firth, and which
is a first-rate angling water. It springs out of a
district the perfect heau ideal of wildncss, loneliness,
and chaos ; — out, in fact, of Loch Ailsh, which has
itself fine trout and pike, and which is surrounded
by some of the most striking scenery the eye of man
can rest upon. The entire length of the Oikel is
thirty miles. There is a good turnpike-road by its
banks for full twenty miles of this distance, so that
the angler has every facility for traversing its streams
in any direction he pleases. The higher up the river,
the better it is for trout fishing ; and the number of
salmon caught in its waters is often prodigious —
counted, in the language of Billingsgate market, by
hundreds, and by tons weight.
K'ot far from the source of the Oikel, and in the
vicinity of Een More, is one of its tributaries called
the Casley, which springs out of the high grounds
in Assint, and has a run of about fifteen miles before
it joins the main river. The Casley receives the
waters of several burns or rivulets, which are them-
selves excellent fishing waters after summer floods.
The stream is in liigli repute among scientific anglers,
both for salmon and trout.
When the angler is in this district, it will save
him time and labour to turn to the west corner of
the county, and visit the singular group of lakes in
this neighbourhood, all within a circle of perhaps
thirty miles. These isolated and independent sheets
of water amount to upwards of two hundred in
number, varying in extent from one to fourteen
miles each. One of the most interesting is Loch
Assint, seven miles long, and embellished with the
most romantic and beautiful scenery. The lake is
full of very large and rich trout, as Avell as of salmon,
and the salmo ferox. This is a favourite trolling
locality, and very heavy fish are taken by this mode
with the assistance of a boat. Eut fine baskets of
red trout can be readily obtained by fishing the
edges of the lake, without any sailing aid whatever.
This loch receives the waters of the rivers Loanan
and Traligill, with those of some smaller burns.
There is capital fishmg in all these tributary waters.
The river Inver flows out of Loch Assint, runs a
distance of five miles, and then falls into Loch
Invers. There is splendid rod-fishing here for both
salmon and trout, the latter being of considerable
size and of delicious flavour. The Kirkaig is a short
stream, but full of fish.
Crossing the country from the vicinity of Loch
Errard to Loch Ardvar, the angler will pass through
among the most interesting of these numerous sheets
of water. lie may pass a whole week in this district
with, the rod, and not half exhaust the objects of in-
terest which, to a real fisherman, it furnishes
in every direction.
We have often wondered, in travelling through
these Highland counties, whether there are any great
number of traditionary songs on, or descriptions of
angling sports among the Gaelic race. Though we
have occasionally mentioned the subject to persons
likely to know something on the matter, yet our in-
formation has hitherto been very scanty. "We have
heard of one Gaelic song which, in English, is to the
following purport. It is said to be the production
of the thirteenth century.
Oh ! set me down by the river's brink.
Which rushes along with giant speed ;
Beneath yon rugged rock,
There the majestic salmon leaps.
There down the gushing stream he speeds
His way Hke king of fish ;
And hurries past yon ivied tower,
And bends his way to ocean's bed.
When summer floods and rains fall,
When summer suns shall warm the banks.
The salmon spear shall again be used.
To kill our noble game.
There are said to be some relics of Gaelic songs
which allude to one of the modes of fishing pursued
by the monks in the priory of Augustines, situated
in Loch Tay, and founded by Alexander I. in 1122.
The mode of fishing in question was by the employ-
ment of Geese as decoys. A modern writer describes
this piscatory dodge in the following terms : —
'^ It W2i'=i fishing with Geese, A line with a baited
hook was tied to the leg of a goose, which, thus ac-
coutered, was made to swim in water of a proper
depth. A boat containing a party — ^male and female
— lord and lady fair — escorted this formidable knight-
errant. By and by, he falls in with an adventure.
A marauding pike, taking hold of the bait, puts his
mettle to the test. A combat ensues, in which, by
a display on the part of both contending heroes, of
much strength and agility, the sympathetic hopes
and fears of the anxious lookers-on are alternately
called into lively exercise, until, at length, the long-
necked, loud- shouting, feather-cinctured, web-footed
champion, vanquishing his wide-mouthed, sharp-
toothed, far-darting, scale-armed foe, drags him a
prisoner in triumph. This merry doing of the good
old times has, alas ! gone out of fashion in this de-
The river Carron, which enters the Damoch Pirth
at Eonar Bridge, is a good stream. It has its source
from Loch Charrh, and other small sheets of water,
all of which contain large trout. Lochs Culrain and
Migdale are in the neighbourhood of Bonar Bridge,
where there is a good Inn for the tourist's accommo-
The river Shine is in great vogue among modem
anglers, especially with those who visit it from the
south. And indeed it is well entitled to all the com-
mendations bestowed upon it. It has, as a river,
only a run of seven miles, as it flows out of Locli
Shine, a long sheet of water which has more than a
dozen small feeders, or rivulets, and which contams
fine trout, salmon, the salmo ferox, and charr. There
are two falls in the Shine. The lower parts of the
stream embrace the most favourite stretches of water
for the salmon angler, and where, indeed, the larger
kinds of trout are taken.
Loch Shine, twenty-four miles in length, is con-
nected with a number of smaller lakes, which, ex-
cept for a distance of a few miles, unite it with the
ocean. By a walk from the head of the loch, or
more properly from Loch Merkeland, the angler will
reach Loch Mose, which is joined by a short stretch
of running water, and from thence to Loch Laxford,
a part of the Atlantic. There is splendid angling
in all this watery expanse. It is chiefly by trolling,
and the use of the boat, that the largest fish are
captured. The two streams called the Tyrie, and
Taig, which run into Loch Shine, are full of small
trout, great quantities of which can readily be ob-
tained after summer rains. There is a small river
called the Evlix, having a run of ten miles, falls into
the sea at Darnoch, a royal borough, but a bleak
and miserable looking place. There are salmon and
trout in the stream.
It is in the Tyrie and Faig that the experiments
have been recently carried on by Mr. Young, of
Inverness- shire, of transferring the salmon spawn into
localities where the fish is not formed. Those ex-
periments have been partially successful. This mode
of stocking rivers was practised two thousand years
ago, by the Eomans, and is largely treated of by
Columella, and others. After a lapse of many cen-
turies it has been revived again, and with great
success, in Trance. Two fishermen of the Yosges,
named Gehin and Eemy, have succeeded in propagat-
ing salmon, carp, pike, tench, and perch, and they
maintain that the plan is applicable to those fish
which live partly in fresh water, and partly in the
sea, as well as to those that live entireh^ in fresh
water rivers and lakes. The streams and rivers over
a large extent of France, have now been abundantly
stocked with a variety of fish from this ancient pro-
cess ; more particularly in the vicinity of AUevard,
Yazille, Pontcharra, Sessenage, Yeary, Bourg
D'Oisons Eivis, Pont-en-Eoyans, Paladru, Lemps,
St. George, Avandon, La Buisse, Grenoble, and in
many other departments of the AUier, the Lozere,
the Mouse, the Mens the, and Haut Laone.
At the moment we are perusing these lines, we
copy from the pages of a public Journal, that this
mode of propagating salmon, is being adopted on the
Tay, in Scotland, on a large scale. As the account
must be interesting to all anglers, we make make no
apology for transfering it here as it is given : —
" The Salmon Manufactory on the Tay. — The ponds
for this purpose are situated on the river bank, near Store-
mountfield, the spawning-boxes being 16 feet above the sum-
mer level of the river. The water which supplies the ponds is
taken from Storemountfield lake (but owing to the impurity of
the Tay during spates, a supply is also to be taken from a
neighbouring spring), by a pipe with a valve, into a filtering
pond ; thence it is carried by a canal along the upper end of
the spawning-boxes, through which it runs. These boxes are
84 feet long by ope foot six inches broad, and three deep.
They are placed with a fall of six inches, so as to allow the
water to flow freely through them, and are partly filled, first
with a laying of fine gravel, next coarser, and lastly with
stones somewhat coarser than road metal. In distributing the
ova, it is gradually poured out of the vessel at the upper end
of the box. The water flowing downwards carries it among
the stones, under which it settles down, and by gently apply-
ing a few buckets of water at the upper end of the boxes the
ova are taken down and distributed equally among the gravel.
When the young fry are in a proper state, they are allowed to
escape into a pond situate at a foot lower level than the boxes,
where they will be fed, and allowed to remain, until such time
as they are in a fit state to be turned into the river. This
pond is not yet made, but will be finished by the time the fry
are hatched. Great care has been taken to prevent any animal
entering with the water that would prey upon the young fish.
Mr. Eamsbottom, from Clitheroe (who has experimented suc-
cessfully for the Messrs. Ashworth, on the Lough Corrib waters,
in Ireland), has the sole management of the Tay ponds.
Saturday was a remarkably fine day for the season, and we
were privileged in being present at the operation of stripping
the fish. When we arrived Mr. Ramsbottom had already got
about 15,000 ova in round tin cans, and he showed us an oval-
shaped tin box with a lid, which contained a small male fish,
swimming in water, which, he said, was waiting for his mate.
Presently the net was shot in the Tay at the mouth of the
Almond, when two fine female fish ripe for spawning, from 18
to 20 pounds' weight, along with a small male fish, were caught.
Mr. Ramsbottom having taken the largest female in his left
hand, drew his fingers down both sides of the belly of the fish,
when the ova flowed in a stream into the tin box formerly
mentioned, in which there were a few inches of water. The
fish was instantly returned to the river, and, after a short time,
sailed off as if nothing had happened to it. After the ova had
been washed, by water being poured on and off — care
being taken never to allow it to be exposed to the air —
the male fish was brought (which all this time had been in the
river under a fold of the net), and manipulated in the same
manner as the female, only a small portion of the milt being
required. On the milt being shed a slight change was seen to
take place in the colour of the ova, which became paler.
Water was again poured on and off, when the operation was
complete. The ova were then poured into round tin cases and
carried to the ponds. "When we left the river side upwards of
400,000 ova in fine condition had been obtained. We observ-
ed that a few of the ova, after impregnation, turned white, in-
stead of being a fine salmon colour. Mr. Ramsbottom said
they were barren ova. In the month of March the fry will
have burst their shells, when we hope to report further."
The rieet runs into Loch. Pleet, an arm of the
sea. It has only a range of twelve miles There is
another stream which passes through Loch Buie,
and which falls into the same estuary. There is
good fishing in this locality.
The river Brora has a course of twenty miles, and
rises in the vicinity of Ben Clibrig. It is joined by
another considerable stream, called Strathbeg Water,
or Black Water, which has its springs near to Loch
Euran. Soon after their junction, they enter Loch
Brara, and emerging from it, flow into the sea at
the village of Brara. This loch, as well as Loch
Tubemach, in the same vicinity, have both salmon
and large trout, of delicious flavour. In dry seasons,
the higher waters of the Brora and Black Water be-
come very much diminished, and the angling with
fly suffers then considerably. A ramble by the
banks of these streams is, however, a great luxury,
for the scenery in many parts of their course is wild
and romantic beyond description.
The river Helmsdale is twenty miles in extent,
and has its rise from Loch Macayn, then flows
through Loch Eaden, where a little below it is
joined by the EUec Water, which is itself connected
with three mountain lochs, all of which are said to
be well stocked with trout and pike — the latter of
very large size. Lochs Leam-na-Clavan, Carr, and
Loch-in-Euar, contain fine trout and charr. The
Helmsdale river, taken altogether, is an excellent
one for general angling sports.
Going north a few miles from the higher streams
of the Black Water, we soon reach the springs of the
HaUadale, which flows into the I^orth Sea. Its
length is about twenty miles. I^ear to it are Loch-
na-Coorach, Loch-na-Sealy, and Loch BaUigill; all
containing fine red trout. In the same neighbour-
hood lies Loch Arron, likewise celebrated for its
The river Strathy runs parallel vdth the HaUa-
dale, at only a few miles' distance. It is equally as
large as the latter stream. It contains salmon, grilse,
and fine large trout. The angUng in the higher
waters of the Strathy is excellent, when the waters
are in full trim.
Keeping by the north coast, we soon, on leaving
the Strathy, fall in with the leaver river, which
springs from Loch Naver ; a sheet of water seven
miles long, and wMch contains salmon, grilse, and
trout. The Naver is a favourite water for the rod,
and the scenery on its banks is exceedingly beautifal.
Its tributaries are the MaRart, Skelpick Burn, and
The Eorgie river rises out of Loch Elam, and is
connected with Loch Cragie, and Loch Looghal.
There are salmon, grilse, and yellow trout in these
waters, and, in general, very good rod fishing.
One of the richest treats which an angler, with
any spark of sentimentality about him, can have
in this district, is to ascend one of the lofty moun-
tains in the vicinity, and take a look at the setting
sun in the month of August or September. How
splendidly does the luminary sink beneath the mighty
waves of the Atlantic ! The heavens melt into a
^' But lo ! the day declines, and to his couch
The sun is wheeling. "What a world of pomp
The heavens put on in homage to his power I
Eomance hath never hung a richer sky,
Or sea of sunshine, o'er whose yellow deep
Triumphal barks of beauteous form career,
As though the clouds held festival, to hail
Their god of glory to his western home."*
"What constant pleasures a man may derive from
the contemplation of the sky! What wonderful
pictures are daily — nay, almost momentarily, pre-
sented to his eye — pictures, in fact, which throw
into the shades of utter insignificancy, the most
• Poems, by the Rev. Robert Montgomery. 1855.
elaborate and finislied productions of human genius
and skill. Yet these splendid and ever gorgeous
sights pass away unheeded and unrecognised by
millions of our race. They cause neither surprise,
nor emotion, nor sentiment, nor thanksgiving. They
seem displays of artistic skill entirely thrown awa-y
upon the greatest number of mankind, either because
they lack education towards such things, or lack a
sensibility that developes itself without any educa-
tion at alL
"Were there an artist to come among us who could
stand in Exeter Hall, in the presence of a living as-
sembly, and work with such marvellous celerity and
genius, that, in half an hour, there would glow from
his canvas a gorgeous sunset, such as flushes the
western Highlands in the autumn, and then, when
the spectators had gazed their fill, should rub it
hastily out, and overlay it in a twenty minutes'
work, with another picture, suck as we often see
^jfl&r sunset — its silver white, its faint apple green,
its pink, its yellow, its orange hues, imperceptibly
mingling into grays, and the black blue of the upper
arch of the heavens, to be rubbed out again, and
succeeded by pictures of clouds — all, or any of those
extraordinary combinations of grandeur, in form and
in colour, that makes one tremble to stand and look
up, — these again to be followed by vivid portraitures
of more calm atmospheric conditions of the heavens,
without form or vapour, and so on endlessly — such
a man would be followed by eager crowds, his works
lauded, and he himself called a god. He would be
a god. Such is the Deity. So he fills the heavens
with pictures, strikes through them with effacement,
that he may find room for the expression of the end-
less riches of the Divine ideas of beauty and majesty.
The Kinloch, a short stream, runs into the Kyle
of Tongues. The Ehians Bum contains a number
of small trout.
The Hope and the Strathmore streams enter Loch
Hope. The Grudie falls into the Kyle of Durness,
a good fishing water for salmon and trout. The lochs
in this vicinity are Dionard, Eorralie, and Crosbole.
The small streams called the Shinery and Kearvaig
waters enter the ocean near to Cape Wrath, and are
Turning to the west, we meet with several lakes
in which there is first-rate fishing ; but they aU pre-
sent the same leading features as those we have just
mentioned. The entire range of coast in the western
side of Sutherlandshire is one continued chain of
angling waters. The chief of these are the Inchard
river. Loch Loxford, Loch Stack, and Lochs Lead-
vuam, Dhu, and Cuil.
The benefits, in point of health, which an angler
derives from his daily perambulations among the
lakes and rivers in such a country as that we have
just gone over, are incalculable. He grows stronger
and stronger daily. He seems to get a new lease of
his life ; — to obtain a firmer grasp of his earthly
tenure of office. The vital principle seems inspired
with a renewed energy and vigour. By the way,
what an active and mysterious agent this principle is,
of which we are constantly talking, and pretending
to regulate and direct. When we come to dwell
upon it, we become dreadfully puzzled and per-
plexed, and are apt to think we are making use of a
word to which there is attached no real meaning —
no material or tangible representative in the nature
of things. But let us for a moment attend to" a few
of the many striking facts involved in the structure
and constitution of man. There is no single object
in this globe which contains such a collection of
wonders as the frame of the meanest mortal. If
any plant is a great problem — if any insect is a
living mystery — if every animal is a riddle which
no man can fully read, we might fairly assume that
a structure where mind and matter were to meet ;
— where dust was for the first time to be fitted up
as a mansion for spirit, would prove to be a
stupendous prodigy of skiU. And in whatever light
we choose to regard it — whether as a complicated
machine whose organs have been set for a run of
three score years and ten ; — or as a great laboratory
in which chemical operations proceed with far more
precision than in crucibles and glass retorts; this
must be always our conclusion — that an apparatus
which has been planned with so much wisdom, —
which has been designed for such a multitude of
purposes — ^must be a perfect miracle in the flesh.
Let us for a moment glance at the materials of
which the human body is constructed. We speak
not of the simple nor the uUhnate materials. If a
chemist catch a man, and thrust him into a retort.
and subject him to distillation, he would find that
the patient consisted of some of the commonest ele-
ments which are to he found on the globe. It is the
same with all human forms, from the loftiest to the
lowliest. Dukes and Duchesses — coalheavers and
washerwomen — might all be resolved into the same
common-place elements. A Prince in a retort would
yield the same produce as a clown, Differing as
most men do in other particulars, in this there is no
distinction. All are a compilation of the same sub-
But though the ultimate elements of which hu-
manity consists, are thus plain and ordinarj^, they
are imder the management and control of a subtle
power, which, without knowing its true nature, we
are accustomed to call the yital principle. There
is something pervading the structure which does not
belong to these elements in their inanimate uses and
states. "What this mysterious principle of life may
be, in its intrinsic nature, it would be idle to surmise.
But we may form some conception of its offices by
remembering the changes which occur when the body
has ceased to breathe. How is it that the frame be-
gins then to dissolve ? How is it that the elements
of which it was compounded, then break into open
insurrection, as it Avere, and dash off to thQ four
winds of heaven ? It is clear that all along they
have been ruled by some powerful force — they must
have been kept in a state of positive coercion by the
principle of life. Just withdraw the principle of
vitality, and a series of changes set in, which dissi-
pate the body as certainly as a dew-drop is dried up
in the fire of a midsummer day. The process of de-
composition is no forced, artificial work; it is as
much a matter of chemical routine as the withering
of a leaf or flower. This singular property called
mtality — which we cannot see, cannot weigh, cannot
handle, cannot govern — this viewless something alone
stands between man and downright decomposition.
A grand series of changes and fluctuations are con-
stantly in progress among the materials of the human
frame. This living principle has not only to keep
down the conflicting affinities which may ever be on
the watch for the mastery, but it has to preside over
the incessant alternations which are occurring in the
entire structure. These changes are twofold : first,
those oi growth; and, secondly, those oi repair ox re-
newal. If we consider the body as a digestive and
reconstructive apparatus merely y there is nothing in
the whole compass of art which can be compared for
a moment with this massive mystery. We shall in
vain attempt to imagine any machine, the work of
human hands, which can in any degree compete with
this living prodigy. The ordinary duties of sustain-
ing the frame, particle by particle, provision must
likewise be made for peculiar emergencies. Sup-
pose a bone to be fractured, the attention of the vital
agent appears to be instantly called to the spot of
danger ; materials are hurried to the scene of the ca-
tastrophy ; and if the damage be not excessive, very
healing operations are straightway commenced for
the restoration of the part.
The most astounding feature in the digestive trans-
actions is, that the very organs which are repairing
and renewing the body, are able to repair and renew
themselves. The receptacle in which the food under-
goes all the necessary preliminary changes, must be
renovated from the very aKment which it is its duty
to elaborate and prepare. And this same renovation
must be effected whilst the organs are in full activity.
How wonderfully mysterious is aU this !
The county of Caithness is an interesting district
for the angler. It is not, however, so fruitful of
bold and romantic scenery as other parts of the north
of Scotland. It is comparatively level, presenting a
great scarcity of trees and shrubbery, and, in some
places, has the poverty-stricken appearance of a per-
fect desert. But a contemplative piscatorian can cull
pleasure even from the sternest and most negative
features of nature.
The constant succession of bold and rugged moun-
tain scenery, in several of the counties we have just
passed over, is one of the greatest sources of pleasure
which an angler derives from a ramble among them.
They present to his eye almost every possible varia-
tion; giving it numerous pathways to the summits of
the hills, through gorges, ravines, or almost valleys.
Mountains, which have the firmest features and the
most fixed forms of nature, are yet of a more varia-
ble expression than anything in the world. Lakes,
trees, meadows, and men, have moods and changea-
ble expressions ; but mountains, beyond all other na-
tural objects, are subject to moods. This is the result
of lights and sliadows. Every change of tempera-
ture, every change of day, every change of cloud or
sun, is reflected upon the mountains. They are the
grand expositors of the atmosphere. Sometimes they
stand in a dreamy mood — ^hazy, indistinct, absent-
minded. All irregularities seem effaced. The lines
of depression or the bulges of rock, are lost, and they
lie in airy tranquility, as if the Deity had sloped
them from base to summit with an even line. Per-
haps the next morning all reserve is gone. They
have travelled up towards you. They seem close at
hand, and look you right in the face. Every line is
sharp, and there is no longer any dreamy expression,
but one of solemn and earnest out-looking. There is
a dark, dignified, and positive expression, as if they
had come to judgment with you. They are the fa-
vourite grounds for shadows. They lie patiently
still while clouds amuse themselves with painting
every form and shape upon their huge and rugged
sides, and they even choose to make their own sha-
dows rather than have none. A mountain shadow,
when the sun is in the west — a sombre sheet of
transparent darkness, cast loosely and mysteriously
down from cliff to base — is a very witch with the
imagination. One's thoughts play with it — ^rushing
in and out — ^like swallows in their summer evening
But no effects are finer than those which are some-
times seen at or near sunset, when the heavens are
full of white-gray and blue-gray clouds. The Hght
which reveals them is entirely reflected down from the
clouds, and from different strata, and witli different in-
tensities. It is, of all other ligMs, that which gives the
utmost distinctness in contrast with the most perfect
obscurity. The nearest point to you will be black with
purple darkness, and swell up unfamiliarly into a
grandeur which effaces all your familiarity with it.
Whether the mountain is a cloud, or the cloud a
mountain — whether there is a change going on, and
the rocky top is melting away and mistily exhaling,
you cannot tell. Eut right out against this obscure
stands another section, so astonishingly revealed that
you can trace its anatomy almost to the minutest
line. Every swell or scoop — all the ribs and bones
— the petty ridges and hollows — the whole waving
surface of a long slope — is as distinct as the wrinkles
on one's own hands. Between these extremes, there
is every possible gradation. !N"ever long alike in
any feature, but changing with the ever-changing
cloud, you cannot but feel there is some mysterious
connection between cloud mountains and earth and
rock mountains. One's imagination sometimes seems
to run wild on the subject; and we cannot help asking
ourselves, if these airy hills are the spirit-forms which
come into visible communion with their yet earth-
bound brethren? Do these things symbolise the
communion of spirits embodied with spirits disembo-
died? And are these evanescent hues — these strange
effects of light — these systems of opal-shadows —
analagous to all those openings and shuttings of the
human heart, those lights and darknesses of imagina-
tion, which come upon us in the experiences of life ?
Keeping by the coast from the Sutherland side of
the county, we meet with the rivers Langwell and
Berridale, which join close to the sea, near to the
village of Eerridale. The Langwell has a fishing
range of about eight miles, and is a good stream for
salmon and trout at particular seasons of the year.
The Eerridale has a longer sweep, running fifteen
miles, and even more if we make our calculation from
its highest springs, situated in the vicinity of Bar
Fin. About half-way of its course, it has a connec-
tion with Loch-na-Baranach, in which there are some
In passing from these two rivers, and going north
in the direction of the sea-coast, there are no streams
of any note till we get to the Wick, with the excep-
tion of a few burns or rivulets not worth the angler's
notice. The Wick has a run of about sixteen miles,
and springs out of the high grounds in the vicinity
of Loch Scarmelet, which it flows through, and then
enters a large sheet of water called Loch Walter, in
which there are a considerable portion of fine trout.
The river then flows on for about ten miles, till it
enters the British ocean, at the town of Wick.
Five miles north of Wick, is the Water of Wester,
which flows through a loch of the same name, and
is likewise connected, to the north, with Alterwall
Loch, in which there are good- sized yellow trout,
and pike of large dimensions. The Wester stream is
of no great note. It enters the sea at Sinclair's Bay.
Scarlet Loch, and Loch Yarrows, are in this vicinity,
and contain good trout.
The river Thurso, which enters the sea at the town
of the same name, is rather a large stream, and stands
high in the estimation of modern anglers. It springs
out of the lofty grounds, and a series of lakes, situ-
ated in the parish of Halkirk, and has a range of full
thirty miles. Most all the lakes connected with its
higher waters contain trout, and some charr. Lochs
More and Calder are the best known, and most fre-
quented by piscatorians. The trout and salmon
fishing in the main stream is good, and the accom-
modation for travellers convenient and respectable.
Though the banks of the Thurso are destitute of
wood, yet there are very interesting views from
many parts of them. "We see in the distance, in
fine weather, the bright and tranquil ocean, and the
variously coloured cliffs of the sea- side, which, when
lighted up with the rays of a setting sun, give out
forms and outlines of every degree of variation and
interest. The sea, in one of its glassy moods is like
an extended mirror, save where its surface is rippled
by the rapid plunging of the sea-fowl, which, in
some localities, are met with in surprising numbers.
The Forss is a good angling stream, of nearly
eighteen miles in extent. The most celebrated lochs
in the neighbourhood are those of Shurery, Cailm,
Scirach, and Sleitile.
There are a few matters connected with an ang-
ling tour in the Highland counties, when undertaken
on a systematic plan, which we think worthy of
notice. What we shall say on the subject is grounded
chiefly upon our own experience, with a suitable
sprinkling of *' the wise saws and modem instances"
of others. Pirst, we are enthusiastic admirers of
pedestrian rambles, not keeping by formal routes,
or fashionable places of angling resort, but diving
into the nooks and recesses of the country, and going
up hill and down dale, just as the crow flies. The
greater the physical obstacles in the way the bet-
ter. When people tell us, there is no road that
way, we answer, '* There was no road any where
till it was made," and off we set. These obstacles
call forth energy, and impart great pleasure on being
surmounted. A man thinks himself, for a moment
at least, a more important personage when he has
overtopped a mountain a mile and a half in altitude,
or made his way over ten or fifteen miles of dusky
moorland, without hearing anything save his own
voice — ^in a stillness which seems to smite his heart
with something like fear. These are the kind of
movements which brace up a man's nerves like fid-
dle-strings, and which make him afterwards relish
his business or studies with a zest, which a mere
lounging or sauntering through a country can never
impart. Keeping away from fashionable hotels, or
the favourite or pet waters of some particular lo-
cality, is the surest method of making an angling
tour in such districts as these we have just gone
over, both delightful and improving. The mind
should be free and unfettered, — in perfect unison
with the wild and unbounded scenes of nature
A necessary element in all piscatory exercises and
amusements is the free use of the limbs. Don't be
afraid of them. They will grow every day stronger
and stronger, if worked with ordinary judgment.
If a m.an be healthy, pedestrian exercises can seldom
be taken in excess. Even when great fatigue is
felt, it is a fatigue which does not weaken the gen-
eral system. On the contrary, a man feels himself
strong and active after a severe day's toil. This,
of course, is subject to certain conditions; and the
true principle of these are, — that he does not eat
too much, nor is too free with his bottle. With
respect to eating a full and hearty meal during a
long walk, we have seen strong and robust men
brought to a state of complete helplessness by such
untimely indulgence. The fact is, nature will not
bear this double tax on her resources ; it is lighting
the candle at both ends. Every angler will find
this to be the case, when perambulating through
such a country as the Scottish Highlands When
he has to walk twenty or thirty miles, he should,
during his movements, take little solid food, till he
has completed his task; and, even then, his meal
should be light and spare. We have, ourselves,
some twenty-five years ago, often been angling for
eighteen hours at a stretch, with, perhaps, about an
hour's rest in the interim, and we have been sus-
tained by a little bread and cheese, or a cup or two
of cold tea, and without the slightest injury to the
body. Even bread alone, sipping (not drinking)
water with it, has kept us in a vigorous state
to the end of our journey. Of course, there are
great constitutional differences among men, — some
bear regular and systematic guzzling and stuffing
better than others, — ^but, as a general rule, it will
be found that nothing enables a man to sustain a
fatiguing journey better than spare — ^very spare —
diet. This regimen keeps the principle of sensibility
in all its pristine vigour ; and this is an essential
matter. Though we do not know what this prin-
ciple is, in its abstract nature or essence, yet we all
know when it becomes obtuse or blunted by mate-
rial agencies. It is a principle which keeps soul
and body together, and makes them act in complete
Drink is likewise an important item to be taken
into account in pedestrian tours. An angler should
never go into the Highlands without a portion of
spirits, of some kind, with him; but it should be
used as a medicine ; — ^not as a mere stimulant. A
man will walk a great deal easier to himself, and
at far less wear and tear to his system, when he
totally abstains from spirituous liquors. We have
seen many scores of anglers, who were always out
with their pocket-flasks, and sipping all the day
long. This is a bad and senseless system. It deadens
the mind, and destroys its sensibilities to the beau-
ties and sublimities of nature. The grand stimulant
to all angling exertions, especially in such a district
as the Highlands, should be a zealous cultivation of
our tastes for natural and fine scenery. There is
such a succession of interesting landscapes — of scenes
that are fitted to engross and excite the contempla-
tive mind — that it seems sadly out of place to drown
its energies, and better sympatHes and aspirations,
with continual potations of stupifying drinks. "We
effectually, by such a habit, cut ourselves off from
all participation in the real and refined pleasures
which angling, as an 'art, and in such a locality as
we are now contemplating, is calculated to afford.
Another essential requisite to comfortable and
successfal angling tours in the Highlands, is to pay
great attention to the feet. Thick shoes or boots,
and warm woollen stockings, should be always used.
[N'othing facilitates a man's easy transit over a moun-
tainous country, and along the rugged banks of
streams, better than a sedulous attention to what is
Treating of Several Angling Streams in Fifeshirb, Forfarshire,
Angus, Kincardinshire, &c.
This Section of our small work embraces an angling
tour of a more limited extent, and of a more tame
and subdued scenic character, than that which we
have just noticed in the preceding part. The ram-
ble we are now, however, about to enter upon, is,
nevertheless, full of natural beauties, and well fitted
to impart a fair portion of piscatory pleasure to all
who may have leisure time at command to under-
take and prosecute it.
"We shall take Glasgow, as we have hitherto done,
as our point of departure. When we get our rod in
hand, and basket on our back, and set fairly out in
our journey, it is of moment that we should vigor-
ously brace up our nerves, and freely open out all
the avenues of the heart to the genial influences of
external nature. This animates and quickens our
footsteps, and fully prepares us for our task. Per-
haps tliere is no one wliose mind is awakened to the
feeling of the beautiful and sublime in the external uni-
verse, who is fully aware of the depth and intensity
of his love, if he have not, at some period of his
life, been a denizen of one of our large trading or
manufacturing cities. The imaginative power with
which he is endowed, will never be more actively
and agreeably exercised, than when he is fully
placed under the direct influence of rural scenes and
natural beauties. Wearied and exhausted in the
busy hum of men — the eternal discordant noises of
the crowded streets grating harshly on his ear, he
will recur with tenfold delight to the recollection of
the scenes of the country — to the cries of animals or
the songs of birds — to the fall of waters, whether
murmuring gently in the *' trotting brooks,'^ or
dashing fiercely down the rock — to the sounds
drawn forth by the winds in their endless courses,
whether as sighing and whispering in the leafy
woods, or whistling and roaring in all their strength
and power. Indeed, a communion with nature is
ever interesting. Even difficulties greatly heighten
our enjoyments. We should make a point, there-
fore, on setting out in our fishing excursions, of
placing ourselves under the cheering influences of all
material objects The man who possesses a keen sen-
sibility to external nature, may almost always say
with the poet : —
" I care not, Fortune, what you me deny ;
You cannot rob me of free Nature's grace ;
You cannot shut the window of the sky,
Through which Aurora shows her smiling face ;
You cannot bar my constant feet to trace
The woods and lawns, by living streams at eve ;
Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace.
And I their toys to the great children leave ;
Of fancy, reason, virtue, nought can me bereave.'*
Starting by railway or otherwise from Glasgow,
we must make our way to the north side of the
Pirth, and drop a line into the Carron, which is not,
however, of any great value as a mere fishing stream.
We have seen, nevertheless, some fine trout taken
out of it; and it likewise contains both pike and
perch. Its banks, in many spots, are very inter-
esting. The tourist will see that the chain of the
Campsie Hills is interrupted by the valley of the
Forth. As we take a more northerly direction, it
rises still higher into the Ochil Chain, the summits
of which rise to above two thousand feet above the
level of the ocean. This chain is broken by a nar-
row valley, through which the Earne and Tay make
their way; but between these rivers the hill of
Moncrief, and to the north across Angus, the hills
of Kinnoul and Liedlaw, continue the chain, though
at a very moderate elevation, to the sea at E,ed Lead.
This mountainous tract is said by travellers to re-
semble very much the district of Auvergne, in the
south of Erance, which is almost universally believed
to be a district of extinct volcanoes.
Eifeshire is not a first-rate county for angling.
The rivers are the Ederij the Leven, and the Orr ;
and they all flow from west to east, and enter the
Grerman Ocean between the Pirth of Porth and Tay.
It is very conyeni^nt to angle all these streams in
going by land from Edinburgh to Dundee. In pur-
suing the main road, through the county, the tourist
will cross all the rivers at right angles ; and he can
ascend such of them as he may find worthy of his
attention. Small and middle-sized flies are the most
suitable for these Fifeshire streams. Minnow is also
a successful bait.
The Eden rises in the Lomond Hills, and flows
throw the central vale of the county. It is a slow
and languid stream, and the miUs, that are situated
on its banks, tend to derange the angHng in its
waters. Therfe are, however, fine white and red
trout in it ; but they are more readily taken with
the minnow than the fly. Pike and eels abound in
the deeper parts of the stream, and a considerable
portion of salmon are taken near its mouth.
The Leven issues from Loch Leven, and, after
running an easterly direction, it receives the waters
of the OrVy which spring out of Loch Eitty, and
flow into the Eirth of Eorth at the Yillage of Leven.
It has a course of twelve miles, and, in this short
distance, turns forty -five mills for cotton and other
things. There are many bleaching works upon its
banks ; and before these were so extensively estab-
lished, the river was considered as the finest trout
stream in the county. Its fishing capabilities are
now, however, considerably impaired. But a fair
day's sport may still be obtained, when the waters
are in proper trim. There is a salmon fishery at its
mouth, but tho quantity of fish annually taken is
not great. It is a curious sight to witness, in May
and June, the eels ascending in countless millions up
this river to Loch Leven and its marshes, where they
remain for an unknown period of time.
The Orr is a tributary to the Leven, and contains
very good trout, but they are not numerous. The
lover of scenery will not, however, be disappointed
by a ramble along its banks.
Loch Leven is a most beautiful lake. Its circum-
ference is about ten miles. It contains two islands,
of about two acres in extent, one on which the ruins
of Loch Leven Castle stand, and the other called
the Inch, where there had been formerly a monas-
tery. The Castle is celebrated as being a place
where Queen Mary was imprisoned. The fishing on
the lake is rented. It abounds with trout of the
richest kind, and with considerable quantities of
pike, perch, eels, &c. Trout of a very large size
have been taken out of this sheet of water, of the
most extraordinary weight, some say, of eighteen
and twenty pounds- These heavy fish have almost
invariably been captured by trolling. The pike are
also of a very great size ; some have been taken of
late years, weighing from forty to nearly fifty
Speaking of pike, we may notice, in passing, that
the angling for this fish has become of late years
much more general, both in England and Scotland,
than formerly. Its history and habits have been
objects of interest, for many centuries, both to natu-
ralists and anglers; — and, we may add, to coohs
likewise. It does not appear that the pike was
known to either the Greeks or Eomans ; — at least
Aristotle and Pliny do not speak of it. The first
author who treats of it, is Ausonius, who flourished
about the middle of the fourth century, and who
does not appear to have entertained very favourable
opinions of either the kindly dispositions, or gastro-
nomic excellencies of the fish. He holds him forth
in a poetic strain under the name of Lucim.
"Lucius obscurus ulva lacunas
Obsidet. His nullos mensarum lectus ad usus,
Fumat fumosis olido nidore popinis."
" The wary luce, midst wrack and rushes hid,
The scourge and terror of the scaly brood,
Unknown at friendship's hospitable board,
Smokes *niidst the smoky tavern's coarsest food."
The largest pike ever taken in Scotland, or in
England either, is nothing compared with the one
which was caught in the vicinity of Manheim, in
the year 1497. He weighed three hundred and fifty
pounds, and measured nineteen feet. Besides this,
he bore a Greek inscription appended to his muzzle,
containing these words : — '* I am the fish that was
put into this pond by the hands of the Emperor
Erederic the Second, on this 8d day of October,
1262;'' — thus, making the age of the monster two
hundred and thirty-five years. The skeleton of this
fish is still to be seen in the Museum of Manheim.
Lord Bacon maintained in his day, that the utmost
limit of the life of a pike was forty years.
Of the ravenous habits of the fish much has been
written. The author of British Fish and Fisheries
says : — '* Shrouded from observation in his solitary
retreat, he follows with his eye the motions of the
shoals of fish that wander heedlessly along; he
marks the water-rat swimming to his burrow, — the
ducklings paddling among the water-weeds, — the
dab -chick and the moor-hen leisurely swimming on
the surface ; he selects his victim, and, like the
tiger springing from the jungle, he rushes forth,
seldom indeed missing his aim ; — there is a sudden
rush, circle after circle forms on the surface of the
water, and all is still again in an instant/'
But though rapacious to a proverb, yet the pike
has his own likes and dislikes ; — there are tasty bits
of food that are said to be keenly relished by him.
Among these, writers state the following : — A swan's
head and shoulders, a mule's lip, a Polish damsel's
foot, a gentleman's hand, and a lady's too, when
very soft and plump, tender kittens before their eyes
open, and the fleshy parts of a calf's head.
The opinions and practices relative to the pike as
an article of food, have been various and conflicting.
In some districts of Prance he is viewed with loath-
ing, while at Chalons-sur-Saone, he is esteemed one
of the first luxuries. In Italy pike are seldom
touched, and the Spaniards entirely reject him. In
Germany he has a high reputation in many districts.
In England, in the thirteenth century, pike was so
dear that few could purchase it ; Mr. Yarrell says,
it was double the price of salmon, and ten times
higher than that of either turbo t or cod. '^ In
1466, pike was one of the chief dishes in the High
Church festivals given by George IN'eville, Arch-
bishop of York. In Henry the Eighth's time those
watery tyrants fetched as much again as household
lamb in February, and a very small pickerel would
sell higher than a fat capon."
The I^orth Queich, and the South Queich, are
the two chief feeders of Lochleven. There is good
fishing in both these streams, except in very dry
and sultry weather. We have found all kinds of
winged flies, of a lightish colour, most successful in
The antiquities of Pifeshire are numerous, and its
ecclesiastical remains and history interesting. There
is a great number and variety of vestiges of the
Caledonian and Pictish inhabitants, and of their
Eoman and Danish invaders. There are also many
military forts, mounds of encampments, groups of
Druidical lithoi, cairns, tumuli, barrows, stone cof-
fins, skeletons, Celtic sepulchral urns, spears and
ariow heads of flint, swords, and battle-axes of brass
and bell-metal,' crosses, fonts, beads, Eoman coins,
&c. All these are very interesting to such anglers
as have a taste for antiquarian researches.
Before the angler quits the rivers of Pifeshire, he
should, if he have any taste for learning and philoso-
phy, pay a visit to the University of St. Andrews.
There is much to interest a reflective mind in this
ancient seat of scliolarship. Besides, there is a
legend connected with the history of the '^ Gentle
Craft," emanating from this celebrated place. In a
work, published at Liege, in Belgium, 1689, called
*' The Lives of the Holy Fathers," we find an ac-
count given of a St. Male, who visited St. Andrews
about the tenth century, and who performed a great
miracle upon the fish of the Tay, for the purpose of
strengthening, among the rude inhabitants of the
district, a belief in his divine mission to teach the
truths of Christianity. There are accounts stiU ex-
tant of similar legends in other parts of Scotland, as
well as in England. "We have a notable story con-
nected with one of our early English bishops — the
Bishop of Chichester — which shows the common
practice of early times of ascribing miracles to fish.
The first bishop sent from Rome to this part of
England, seeing the people eat greedily of the sand-
eels caught near the place, sent information to St.
Peter's, that the people here eat serpents. This
horrified the Holy See, and a message was sent
back, that if they would refrain from such a repul-
sive and heathenish custom, they should for the
future be amply supplied with real fish, and that
of the very first quality. The people consented;
the influence of the Holy Pontiff was immediately
put into requisition, and a most sumptuous supply
of fish of every kind was for a long period most
miraculously served out to the benighted but faith-
* History of CMchester.
Tlie Hermit* s Pish-Pond, now remaining in a val-
ley, near Glastonbury, exhibits the materials of a
legendary tale about fish. In this pond there were
three fishes, of which St. Neot had Divine permis-
sion to take one, and only one, every day, with an
assurance that the supply should never be dimin-
ished. Being afflicted with a serious indisposition,
his disciple, Earius, one day caught two fishes, and
having broiled one, and boiled the other, placed
them before him. *' "What hast thou done," ex-
claimed St. l^eot, '^ lo ! the favour of God deserts
us; go instantly, and restore these fishes to the
water. '* While Earius was absent, I^eot prostrated
himself in earnest prayer, till he returned with the
intelligence that the fishes were disporting them-
selves in the pool. Earius again went and took only
one fish, of which St. 'Neot had no sooner tasted
than he was restored to perfect health.*
We have, indeed, multitudes of legends connected
with fish and fishing scattered over the theological
literature of Prance, Italy, Spain, and Germany.
The legend of St. Anthony, of Padua, is, unques-
tionably, the most striking and ingenious of all the
pious effusions of this kind. The sermon commences
with, '^ My dearly beloved fish," and goes on, at
great length, and with much eloquence, to show
how fish had in all ages been the especial favourites
of heaven; that they lived in an element which
* History of St. Neots, by the Rev, G. C. Graham.
secured them from the many troubles and evils
which befell terrestrial animals ; that the j had been
the chosen medium through which many of the
gospel rites and doctrines had been made known to
mankind; and that now he had assembled them
together for the purpose of teaching a great religious
and moral lesson to the unbelieving and wicked
people around him. And the saint concludes his
discourse in the following words : ^^ In what dread-
ful majesty — in what wonderful power — ^in what
amazing providence, did God Almighty distinguish
you among all the species of creatures that perished
in the universal deluge : you only were insensible of
the mischief that laid waste the whole world. All
this I have told you, ought to inspire you with
gratitude and praise. You cannot employ your
tongues, nor express your gratitude in words ; make
at least some sign of reverence ; bow yourselves ac-
cording to the best of your capacity ; express your
thanks in the most becoming manner that you are
able ; and be not unmindful of all the benefits be-
stowed upon you."
We are told that St. Anthony had no sooner left
off speaking than the fishes, as though they were
moved by reason, bowed down their heads in pro-
found humility, and manifested the most lively joy
at his address. The story adds, that after many
heretics, present on the occasion, had been con-
verted, the saint gave his benediction to his finny
auditory, and dismissed them.
Lady Morgan describes a picture in the Borghese
Palace, at Rome, wMch. represents St. Anthony
deliyering this address. Her Ladyship says, '* The
sahnon look at the preacher with an edified face,
and a cod, with his upturned eyes, seems anxiously
looking out for new light." There is likewise a
splendid picture on the same subject, by Salvator
Eosa, now in the collection at Althorpe House,
Saint Patrick is the patron saint in Ireland for
fish and fishers. The legend tells us that the holy
man having an irresistible desire for some flesh meat,
obtained a piece of pork, and hid it. An apparition
had its eye on his movements, and struck him with
remorse of conscience. He repented ; and, as a proof
of the sincerity of his contrition, an angel turned
this piece of pork into some fine rich fish !
On quitting Pife, the angler will cross the Pirth
of Tay, a most splendid inlet, nearly twenty-four
miles in length, and from two to four in breaath.
When viewed from any commanding eminence, it is
a most interesting sight; presenting the bold and
rocky coast of Pifeshire on the south, and on the
north the fine Carse of Gowrie, a rich plain that
stretches from the Pirth to the foot of the Leidlaw
Hills, affording the tourist a magnificent landscape,
comprehending the deep Bay of St. Andrews, and
the churches of this ancient city, which are distinctly
seen in the distance.
* This legend is but little known in England, even among
Catholics ; but it may be seen in every bookseller's window. in
Rome, at the present day.
The chief angling rivers in the county of Eorfar-
shire are the North and South JEshy the Isla, and the
Tay. The two last have been noticed under Perth-
shire. The Korth and South Esk are fine, clear,
sparkling streams, and abound with a great quantity
of trout, though not of very large size. The rivers
have fine gravelly beds, and their rippling streams
are most delightful to the fly-fisher. The salmon
here are of excellent quality, and have, on some
occasions, been caught of a most stupendous size.
A gentleman in the neighbourhood, in 1829, killed
one with fly, fifty -four pounds. The fish struggled
hard for five hours. Had not the streams been
very favourably situated, his capture could not
have been effected.
The IN'orth Esk issues from Lochlee, which re-
ceives its waters from the mountain torrents of the
Grampians. The river fiows south east, and is aug-
mented in its progress by many smaller streams, all
of which are full of fish, and afford excellent sport
with the worm, in the hot and dry days of summer,
when it is too clear for the fly in the main river.
When the iN'orth Esk becomes the northern boundary
of the county, and receives the West Water and the
Water Cruick, it flows a south easterly direction,
through a very fertile and delightful country, and
falls into the sea about three miles north of the town
of Montrose. It is subject to great and impetuous
inundations ; and, in every part of its course, you
may see deep ravines in the bed of the river, pro-
duced from the overwhelming floods which pour
down from the sides of the Grampian Mountains.
As the waters dash from rock to rock, the effect is
grand and romantic in the extreme ; and nature has
been greatly assisted by the artificial elegancies
which Lord Gordon has introduced in many locali-
ties in the river.
The higher waters of the Korth Esk are composed
of the streams called the Lee, the Mark, and the
Brany. In its progress of fifty miles in extent, the
waters of the Effock, Tarf, Turret, and Keeny, are
poured into it. We have known very large trout
taken out of some of these streams by trolling ; and,
when the fish are in a taking mood, any thing in
the shape of a fly will satisfy them. All these
streams flow through districts that are exceeding
interesting and beautiful.
One of the striking features which marks a ram-
ble among the rivers in this eastern section of Scot-
land, somewhat different from an excursion among
the mountain streams of the Highlands, is the pre-
valence of copse-wood, hedge rows, and limited
patches of ornamental timber. These relieve the
general landscape mightily; and, what is of more
moment, they afford places of shelter for several
species of birds, whose notes fall upon the ear of
the traveller with a ravishing sweetness. The notes
and cries of the feathered creation have an especial
adaptation to the localities they frequent. In the
wild and solitary glens and morasses of the High-
lands, how strikingly in unison with external na-
ture, and one's own feelings, are the shrill whistle
of the curlew, and the plaintive tenderness of the
plover ! Sounds of this kind, in such localities,
make sadness pleasingly sad, and desolation more
desolate. When we come into districts where copse
and woodland covers prevail, we have the clear
notes of the mavis and merle, which are in admira-
ble keeping with the active and busy scenes of human
life and industry, and with the blossoms, and flowers,
and shrubs, which adorn the earth's surface, when
subjected to the labour of man. Such sweet notes
make rusticity more rustic, and give rise to the most
soothing emotions which luxuriant nature can pro-
duce on our inward frame.
The South Esk issues from the north-west sum-
mit of the Grampians, out of a lake of the same
name, situated in the parish of Clova. It is from
sixty to seventy miles in extent, and falls into the
sea at Montrose. ^N'ear to its source, are Lochs
"Wharral and Brany, which contain good trout, as
well as pike and perch. Very large trout have
been occasionally taken in those still waters by
trolling, and some even with the fly. For the first
twenty miles of South Esk, the generality of the
fish found in it are small ; and, in fine, clear, sum-
mer weather, the waters get too limpid, and too
much reduced, for successful exploits with, the rod.
Eut after rain, there seems no end to the number
of trout that can be taken in it. We have found
the angling for about ten miles above the Town of
Brechin, to be the best portion of this river. There
are fine streams, and stretches of still water, where
large fish are always to be met with.
The tributaries of the South Esk, are the White-
water, the Carity, the Lemno, the Koran, and Pow
waters. There is likewise the Prosen, which is a
good stream, and has three feeders, — the Lednathy,
Glenoig, and Glenlogy, — in all of which there are
countless numbers of small trout.
The Town of Prechin is a place worthy of the
angler's notice. In the church -yard, near the
Cathedral, is one of those round towers, which have
excited among antiquarians so much discussion, and
the origin and use of which have not yet been satis-
factorily accounted for. Brechin Castle is situated
at the top of a precipice, and is separated from the
town on the east and west by a deep ravine ; its
south base is washed by the waters of the South
Esk, which forms here a most enchanting piece of
water. It was in this castle that Sir Thomas Maule
defied the forces of Edward III., until he was kiUed
by a stone thrown by an engine, when the garrison
surrendered to the English.
A short distance from this place the river presents
a lovely appearance, chiefly from the softening shades
of aerial perspective, which opens to the view as we
approach a little village by its banks. Every turn
or bend of the waters presents a beautifully varied
landscape. Elevated masses of rock, and here and
there some old building perched on their summits,
greatly enhance the natural beauties of the locality,
and rivet us as by enchantment to the spot.
The ecclesiastical and antiquarian remains are in-
teresting in Forfarshire. Near to Porfar is a Dru-
idical circle ; monumental stones with curious sculp-
tures ; and cairns containing coffins and urns. !N"ot
far from Cupar- Angus is King Arthur's Stone or
Monument, connected with a cairn which tradition
affirms contains the bones of this legendary Prince.
Here are Glammis, and Dunsinane, mentioned in
Shakspere's tragedy of Macbeth, where he says, —
" By Sinel's death I know I'm Thane of Glammis."
This was the locality which witnessed the usur-
per's principal movements. On the hiU of Dunsi-
nane was the Castle of Macbeth, from which he sal-
lied, when, in the words of the poet, he exclaims, —
-"I will not yield
To kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feet,
Though Birnam wood be come to Dimsinane,
And thus opposed be of no woman bom."
" Lay on Macduff!
And damned be who first cries hold, enough."
Two mounds of earth, called Duff's Know, and
Bellie Duff, contain, according to popular tradition,
the mortal remains of Macduff, and of his enemy
Macbeth. At Glammis there is a large monumental
stone, commemorative of the assassination of King
Malcolm II. ; whose murderers were drowned in
making their escape in the night across the frozen
loch of Porfar. There are also many curious Cale-
donian, Druidical, Scandinavian, Eoman, and monas-
tic antiquities, scattered over different parts of the
county; such as stone coffins, urns in sepulchral
cairns, battle-axes, swords, sculptured stones, Ro-
man coins, and other similar articles of ancient
Lunan "Water flows through three lakes, Eestenet,
Rescobie, and Balgavies. These sheets of still wa-
ter contain only pike, and a few perch. The Vinny,
which is a feeder of the Lunan Water, has a fair
portion of trout in it, as well as its parent stream.
In Kincardinshire, the Bervie is a good rod wa-
ter, and has a run of about seventeen miles. There
quantities of fine trout are taken out of it. The
anglers who frequent the river give a decided pre-
ference to light-coloured flies, for the early months
of the fishing season, and dark ones towards its
close. The Carron and Towie waters are likewise
fair streams for trouting.
Allan Water, -
Chapelthorpe Stream, -
Corse-cleugh Stream, -
Ayr, ' . . .
Allan, Stirlingshire, -
Culter Water, -
Aven, - - -
Cluden Water, -
Alness Water, -
Cairn Water, -
Biggar Water, -
Cart, White, -
Blandenoch Water, -
Cona, - . .
Brother Loch, -
Coinich, - - -
Bracklin Burn, -
Clunie Water, -
Calpie, - - -
Calder Water, -
Cawdor Burn, -
Clannie, - - -
Black Water, -
162 Carity, ' - - -
164 Carron (Forfar),
Conan, - . -
Casley, . - -
Carron, - - -
Ibid, - - -
Esk (South), -
Devon, - - -
EUec Water, »
Daer, - - -
Eden, (Fifeshire,) -
Esk, North, (Forfarshire
Esk, South, do. -
Deugh Water, -
Doon, - .. -
Dusk Water, -
Fruin, - - -
Douglas Water, Argyleshire, 107
Finlas, _ - -
Dergan Water, -
Forth, Stirlingshire, -
Donally Beg Loch, -
Foyers, - - -
Duror, - - -
Fleshie Water, -
Foveran, - - -
Dee, Aberdeenshire, -
Forgue Burn, -
Dinnet Burn, -
Devoran, - - -
Dulnain, - - -
Grey Mare's Tail Burn,
Eden, - - -
Girvan, - - -
Eye, - - -
Elvan Water, -
Gudrick, - - -
Ennis Water, -
Garry, - ^ -
Gauer, . - -
Gairn Water, -
Geldie Water, -
Grudie, - - -
Hope, - - .
Isla, - - -
Inchard, - . -
Inver, - - -
Kirtle Water, -
Kinnel, - - -
Kello Water, -
Loch Dercleugh, -
Kevach Burn, -
Lugar, ^ -
Kelvin, - - -
Loch Castlesemple, -
Long Loch, >
King Edward's Water,
Kinloch, - - -
Kyle of Tongues,
Kyle of Durness,
Kirkaig, - - -
Keeny, - - -
Loch Fin, -
Lymy-cleugh Burn, -
Loch Crenan, -
Loch Scauradale, -
Loch Killyheran, -
Loch Eil, -
Lock Bheninver, -
Loch of the Lows,
Loch Carnabatan, -
Loch Vennachar, -
Loch Tubernach, -
Loch Leadvuam, -
Loch Merkeland, -
Loch Eylt, -
Loch Applecross, -
Oich, ' -
Powtrail Water, -
Poulloch Water, -
St. Mary's Loch, -
Strathbeg Water, -
Wamphray Bum, -
Teith, • -
LIST OF FISHING-TACKLE DEALERS IN LONDON,
Those marked with an * are also Mannfacturers.
*Amge & Aldred,
.126, Oxford Street.
*Wm. H. Alfred,
. 54, Moorgate Street.
.71, Long Acre.
John Jas, Basin,
. 8, Duncan Place, London Fields.
. . 4, Church Place, Piccadilly.
. .93, Charlton Street, Somers Town.
. 54, Dean Street, Soho.
*Geo. BoAvness & Son,
. .12, Bell Yard, Temple Bar.
♦Geo. Bowness, Jun . .
. .33, Bell Yard, Temple Bar.
. .Park Side, Knightsbridge.
. .27, Wormwood Street, Bishopsgate.
..132 Oxford Street.
. .5, Oakley Street, Lambeth.
. .11, St. John's Lane, Clerkenwell.
. .33, Wilderness Row, Goswell Street.
. . 48, Snows Fields, Bermondsey.
. . 60, Hungerford Market.
..172, Fenchurch Street.
..15, East Road, City Road.
. . 5, Crooked Lane.
. . 2, Devonshire Sq. Bish. Gut Mercht.
..36, Great Marylebone Street.
..115, Fetter Lane.
♦John Spear Holroyd .
...59, Gracechurch Street.
. ..220, Bethnal Green Road.
. .111, Jermyn Street, St. James.
. .6, Opera Arcade, Pall Mall.
. .15, Fetter Lane.
. .10, Crooked Lane.
, . 30, Upper Marylebone Street.
. . 9, Blackfriars Road.
* Henry Turpin, .
. . . 124, St. John Street Road.
*Ustonson & Peters, . ,
...48, Bell Yard, Temple Bar.
..6 and 7 Crooked Lane, City.
Wm. Bartlett & Sons,
...37, Gresham Street, City.
G. Chambers & Co., . .
. . 14a, Gresham Street, City.
J. J. W. Gutch & Co.,
...50,KingWmiamSt. City, HookMaker.
Kirby, Beard & Co., . .
. . 46, Cannon Street, City.
. . 7, East Cheap.
..134, Upper Thames Street.
. . 44, Basinghall Street.
. . 106, Wood Street, City.
A FEW PROVINCE
. 1, Gresham Street, West.
iL FISHING-TACKLE DEALERS.
. . Arran Quay, Dublin.
..Sackville Street, Dublin.
' W. K. Rogers, Esq., . .
. Great George Street, Cork.
J. D. Dougall,
. .Argyle Arcade, Glasgow.
. St. John's, Worcester.
. . Near the Bridge, Richmond, Surrey.
Mr. E. Lees,
.At the sign of the Salmon, 5, Sussex
Street, near Broadmarsh, Notting-
Mr. Philip Pulman, . . .
Mr. G. P. R. Pulman,.
. . Crewkerne.
. .Cookham, Berks.
WORKS PUBLISHED BY MR. BLAKEY.
THE ANGLER'S COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE RI-
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